Mango Curry, Chana Masala, & Gobi Matar Indian Cooking

mango curry

Let’s cook a complete Indian meal in real time. For this dinner, I’m cooking chana masala, mango curry, and gobi matar. These dishes work well together. All recipes are posted below, but Indian cooking is all about flexibility and taste, so tweak these recipes and make them your own, or follow them exactly, and then experiment at a later time. Indian food is great fun to prepare, and with a few key ingredients, you can cook up Indian dishes that will be as delicious as those you love from your favorite Indian restaurants.

Mango Curry Recipe:

Mango Curry Ingredients:
4 large, very ripe and juicy MANGOES
1 cup YOGURT
1-2 Tbsp CUMIN SEEDS
dash of ASAFOETIDA
¼ cup CURRY LEAVES chopped well
4-5 Tbsp GINGER finely chopped
2-3 Tbsp CHICKPEA FLOUR a.k.a. besan
2 Tbsp OIL for cooking
SALT to taste

Mango Curry Directions:
Use super-duper ripe mangoes to make mango curry. The mangoes should be VERY RIPE, soft and juicy.
Peel and pit the mangoes and place the fruit in a bowl. Crush the mango until it’s a wet, semi-lumpy mess.
Add in about 1 cup of Greek-style yogurt and mix well.
In a large pot, heat oil on medium high heat.
Add cumin seeds and asafoetida and cook 30-40 seconds.
Add curry leaves, half of the ginger, and chickpea flour. Stir and continue cooking about 2 minutes.
Add mango mixture and 1 cup of water and stir well with ingredients in pot.
Bring to a bubble, then reduce the heat, cover and let simmer about 10 minutes.
Stir occasionally and add more water to the mango curry as desired.
After 10 minutes, add the remaining ginger, cover and let cook another 5 minutes.
That’s it! Serve mango curry over rice, and enjoy!

mango curry
A complete Indian meal with mango curry, chana masala, and gobi matar.

Chana Masala Recipe:

Many chana masala (chickpea curry) recipes include onion; sometimes I use onion, sometimes I don’t, it ostly depends on the other dishes I’m serving the chana masala with. I do often include asafoetida and chick pea flour. If not using besan, just add ½ cup of water instead of 1 cup. The asafoetida is wonderful. It stinks, but ti’s still wonderful. Asafoetida is also called “devil’s dung”, but that’s just when it’s raw, once you toss it into a simmering skillet, it transforms into a sharp, oniony weirdness that will pleasantly remind you of your favorite Indian restaurant. I’ve only been able to find asafoetida at international food markets, but it’s worth acquiring, especially if you want to make a habit of cooking great Indian dishes at home. If skipping the asafoetida, try adding 1 finely chopped medium-sized onion between the cumin seeds and the tomatoes.

Chana Masala Ingredients:
1 15 oz can CHICKPEAS (or 2 cups)
1 15 oz can DICED TOMATOES (or 2 fresh diced)
1 tsp GARLIC (minced)
1 tsp GINGER (minced)
1 HOT PEPPER (minced)
1-2 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
1 Tbsp CHICK PEA FLOUR (also called besan)
1 tsp CUMIN SEEDS
1 tsp CHILI POWDER
1 tsp GARAM MASALA
1/8 tsp ASAFOETIDA (optional, also called hing)
½ tsp TURMERIC
SALT (to taste)

In a skillet, heat oil on medium high heat. When the oil is heated, add the cumin seeds and asafoetida. Stir and allow to simmer for just a few moments. Once the seeds begin to crack, add the chick pea flour and continue stirring. The flour will absorb the oil. Stir for approx. 1 minute and then add the diced tomatoes. Mix well and allow the tomatoes to bubble. As the tomatoes cook down, you can crush them with your stirrer for a smoother chana massala. Add the minced ginger and garlic and hot pepper. Add the chili powder and turmeric. After the tomatoes have cooked 4-5 minutes, add the chick peas, garam masala, and salt to taste. Mix well and add 1 cup of water. Bring the dish to a bubble, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and allow cooking for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, the chick peas will be soft. Use a fork or potato masher to smash some of the chick peas, this will help thicken the chana masala along with the chick pea flour added earlier. Simmer uncovered to the desired consistency, remove and serve. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves. Serve with rice or on its own.

Gobi Matar Recipe:

Cauliflower is good and good for you, especially if you curry it up–and this Indian-style cauliflower curry recipe will help.

Ingredients:
1 med CAULIFLOWER (cut into florets)
1 15 oz can DICED TOMATOES (or 2 med tomatoes)
1 8 oz can GREEN PEAS
1/8 tsp ASAFOETIDA (optional, also called Hing)
1 large ONION (chopped)
1 HOT PEPPER (finely chopped)
1 tsp GINGER (finely chopped)
1 Tbsp GARLIC (finely chopped)
1 tsp CHILI POWDER (sub cumin powder for less heat)
1 tsp CUMIN SEEDS
½ tsp TURMERIC POWDER
1 tsp CORIANDER POWDER
1 tsp GARAM MASALA
2-3 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
¼ cup WATER
SALT (to taste)

In a skillet, heat olive oil on medium high heat. Add cumin seeds and asafoetida. Seeds will brown and crack quickly. Add onion and stir. Cook 1 minute and then add ginger, garlic, and hot pepper. Continue cooking until onions are soft. Add turmeric, chili, and coriander powder and mix well. Stir in tomatoes and continue cooking 4-5 minutes. Add salt to taste. As the tomatoes cook down I like to crush them with a spoon. Stir in cauliflower florets. Add water and bring dish to a bubble, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and let cook 4-5 minutes. I say 4-5 minutes, but cook it however long you like…I should say 1-10 minutes. I don’t want to cook all the nutrients out of the cauliflower, and I like my florets to still have a bit of crunch to them, so I simmer my cauliflower for only a few minutes. When the cauliflower is almost cooked to your liking, add garam masala and green peas. Mix and continue cooking until peas are heated through. And that’s it—your cauliflower and peas will be transformed into something delicious (I know it’s hard to believe, but trust me).

Make these dishes and try them out. The mango curry is a sweet, delicious treat, the chana masala is an Indian foods must, and the gobi matar tastes great and is great for your health.
Give Indian cooking a go, and bon appétit!

chicken tikka masala
Click image to view this Chicken Tikka Masala recipe

For more great Indian Recipes, check out my complete Indian Recipes Playlist

Thanks for watching and checking out the dishes. If you liked these recipes, click a few buttons below and share the recipes with friends and family, I appreciate it!
–Chef Buck

Make the Best Bean Soup Today !

bean soup

This bean soup recipe is super tasty and easy to make. Doesn’t bean soup sound delicious? Especially if you’re a kid. I use cannellini beans and black beans in this recipe, but you can use whatever beans you like. Ham or sausage is great in bean soup, too, and it doesn’t have to be a lot; just a little meat adds great flavor to bean soup. If going meat free, be sure to add lots of spice and maybe and extra veggie or two…beans need all the excitement they can get.

Bean Soup Recipe Ingredients:

2 15oz cans CANNELLINI BEANS
1 15oz can BLACK BEANS
2 medium sized ONIONS chopped
4-5 cloves GARLIC finely chopped
some leftover SAUSAGE or HAM (cooked)
32 oz BROTH (or ½ water ½ broth)
a little HALF AND HALF if you want
1 tsp CHIPOTLE POWDER
(or use some other kinda heat)
SALT and PEPPER to taste
1-2 Tbsp Oil
chopped PARSLEY if you want

bean soup
adding a mix of beans will add color and texture to your soup

Bean Soup Recipe Directions:

Heat 1 to 2 Tbsp of oil in a soup pot.
Add the onion and garlic and saute for several minutes.
If you’ve got fresh chili or jalapeno peppers, dice and add a little of that, too…if you want.
Add seasoning. I use salt, pepper, and chipotle powder in this recipe. Chipotle is awesome in bean soup. It adds great flavor
and a little heat. Don’t have chipotle powder? Add chili powder or chili/garlic paste instead, or anything you like, soup is all about
improvising.
Cook the spices and onions together for a few minutes and then add broth (meat or veggie broth, whatever, dude).
Toss in a bay leaf and bring the pot to a bubble.
Add in beans. I like to use a mix of cannellini and black beans.

bean soup
adding a little sausage or ham is an easy way to flavor up a basic bean soup

If you have some sausage or ham on hand, chop and toss a little into the soup.
Reduce the heat down to a low simmer, cover and let cook 30-45 minutes.
After simmering, remove the bay leaf.
Use a hand blender to blend the soup to desired consistency.
bean soup
use a hand blender to make a soup creamier

I like to add a little half and half for added creaminess; not a lot, just a little does the trick, around ½ a cup.
Turn off the heat and stir in a little chopped parsley or cilantro, and that’s it!
If you can make it a day ahead, all the better; soup only gets tastier with time!
Hope you love it!
Give Bean Soup recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit.

And for more bean fun, check out this crazy awesome vegetarian chili recipe
vegetarian chili

Baked Tomatoes Recipe with Basil, Cheese, and Walnut

Baked Tomato

This is a terrific baked tomatoes recipe. I love tomatoes roasted and topped with garlic, bread crumbs, and butter, but I think this toasted walnut, basil, and cheese topping has it beat. These roasted plum tomatoes make an awesome vegetarian dish with more than enough substance to satisfy even the most carnivorous craving.

Baked Tomatoes Recipe Ingredients:

4 PLUM TOMATOES (roma is a type of plum tomato)
½ cup toasted WALNUTS
½ cup fresh BASIL
½ cup ROMANO CHEESE (or sub Parmesan cheese)
2-3 cloves GARLIC
some OLIVE OIL, dude
SALT and PEPPER (to taste)

baked tomatoes
Slice off the bottom of the tomatoes so they sit flat on the baking sheet.

Baked Tomato Recipe Directions:

Slice tomatoes lengthwise in half, and then slice a sliver off of the rounded backside so that the tomatoes rest flat.

Using a fork, tenderize the tops of the tomato halves, but do not poke the fork all the way through.
Arrange tomatoes on a baking sheet.

Season tomato tops with salt and pepper, and then coat the tomato tops lightly with olive oil.
Bake in an oven preheated at 500 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes, or until the edges of the tomatoes begin to brown.

While the tomatoes bake, place chopped basil, toasted walnuts, shredded cheese, fresh ground pepper, and garlic in a food processor and pulse conservatively until the topping ingredients resemble tabouli.

baked tomatoes
Use about equal parts of toasted walnut, cheese, and basil…and garlic to taste.

Remove tomatoes from the oven. Add any oil and juices on the baking sheet into the blended basil/walnut/cheese topping. Also add ½ to 1 tsp olive oil if desired. Mix ingredients and then mound the topping evenly over each tomato.

Return tomatoes to the oven and continue baking at 500 degrees F for another 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, turn oven to broil and let tomatoes broil 1-2 minutes longer, or until tops have browned; watch them closely!

And that’s it. Let them cool for a few minutes and serve. It’s a great appetizer, side, or can even be the main course of a vegetarian meal. The blended topping has a terrific, meaty texture. The baked tomatoes are quite filling, and delicious. I hope you like it!

Baked Tomatoes
This baked tomato recipe is beyond delicious…definitely give it a try!

Definitely give this Baked Tomatoes Recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for another great vegetarian dish, try this Baked Jalapeno Poppers Recipe.
jalapeno poppers

Popcorn : how to cook popcorn on the stove top

how to cook popcorn on the stove

90% of all U.S. households have a microwave oven, but we don’t, so when we make popcorn, it’s on the stove top. Generally we buy the store brand, it’s considerably cheaper than name brand popcorn, and we find it offers the same result.
We cook popcorn in coconut oil. Coconut oil has a high heat point and retains it’s nutritional value when heated.
We like to add flavorings, too. My favorite is grated Parmesan cheese. Of course we always add butter and salt, but I’ve found that fresh ground black pepper is a great addition as well.

How to Cook Popcorn on the Stove top:

1) On Medium Heat, add 2 Tbsp of coconut oil in a heavy bottomed pot.

2) Add a couple of test corn kernels into the pot.

3) When the oil heats through, and the test kernels have popped, add ½ cup of popcorn kernels.

4) Shake the pan to distribute the kernels along the bottom of the pan. They should form a single layer.

5) Cover the pot with a lid, but don’t cover tightly, leave the lid slightly ajar to allow steam to escape; this will keep the popcorn from tasting stale.

6) Allow the kernels to pop until the popping sound almost completely subsides.

7) Once popped, removed pot from burner and pour popcorn into a bowl.

8) While hot, add melted butter and salt and whatever seasonings you desire.

and that’s it!

Below is a video we made experimenting with bacon, but I think I prefer basic popcorn, although the fresh ground black pepper tasted awesome.

Fun Facts:

–Two tablespoons of unpopped corn kernels produce a quart of popcorn for about 25 cents.
–In movie theaters, for every dollar spent on popcorn, about 90 cents is profit.
–A cup of plain popcorn contains about 31 calories.
–Americans eat more popcorn than any other country.
–About 70% of popcorn sold in America is eaten in the home.
–By volume, popcorn is America’s most popular snack food.

For another tasty snack idea, check out these Cashew Coconut Lemon Bites

energy snack
power snack in a yummy treat!

Garlic Quinoa Recipe …instead of garlic rice

garlic quinoa

This garlic quinoa recipe makes a terrific side dish. I use quinoa often to provide the protein in vegetarian meals, but quinoa is also a smart choice to serve with other proteins. This garlic quinoa side is filling and tasty, and a great accompaniment for many meat and fish dishes.

Garlic Quinoa Recipe Ingredients:

2 cups QUINOA
3 cups WATER
3-4 cloves GARLIC (finely chopped)
2 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
SALT and PEPPER to taste
and add chopped PARSLEY …if you like, man

garlic quinoa
garlic quinoa makes a great side dish

Garlic Quinoa Recipe Directions:

In an oven proof dish, add 3 cups of water.
Add in the olive oil, or melted butter.
Add the quinoa.
Add finely chopped garlic. I find 3-4 cloves to be plenty (this is one of those rare dishes where I have found too much garlic to be too much).
Add salt and pepper to taste.
If you want to add a little heat, add some finely chopped red chilis (it adds a nice color, too), or just a little cayenne pepper.
Stir the ingredients together well and place top or foil covering over the baking dish.
Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 90 minutes. No attention to the dish is required while baking.
After 90 minutes, remove the dish from the oven, uncover and let set for a few minutes.
Fluff with a fork and serve.
It’s a great side dish for meat, fish, and vegetarian meals.
Any leftovers can be used to make quick quinoa salads.
Give this Garlic Quinoa Recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

raw quinoa
uncooked quinoa…looks like a grain, but it’s a seed.

Quinoa is a terrific ingredient to incorporate into your diet for many reasons, here are a few:
1) It is a complete protein (provides all essential amino acids).
2) High in fiber and nutrition.
3) High in magnesium and iron.
4) Is low on the Glycemic Index, making it a good choice for blood sugar regulation.
5) it can easily be substituted for rice in many recipes

For more quinoa inspired recipes, check out my QUINOA PLAYLIST.
spanish quinoa

The Best Garlic Shrimp Recipe You’ll Ever Eat

garlic shrimp recipe

Try this super-quick and delicious garlic shrimp recipe. Lots of olive oil and garlic add great flavor, especially when served with fresh sliced bread. Cook the shrimp quickly in a hot skillet, but don’t overcook! Overcooked shrimp can get rubbery, so the total cooking time for this dish is about 4 minutes tops.

What You Need to Make This Garlic Shrimp Recipe

2 lbs SHRIMP
½ cup OLIVE OIL
½ cup GARLIC …or as much as you like (finely chopped)
1 tsp RED PEPPER FLAKES
2 tsp PAPRIKA
SALT and PEPPER to taste
3-5 Tbsp LEMON JUICE
½ cup PARSLEY (chopped)
sliced BREAD for sure, dude

garlic shrimp recipe
Don’t be shy with the garlic!

How to Make Garlic Shrimp

  • Peel and devein the shrimp (save the shells and heads to make a stock!)
  • Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium high heat.
  • When oil is hot, add red pepper flakes. Red pepper flakes add a nice heat, but substitute fresh peppers, or even a little cayenne if you like.
  • Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Use as much garlic as you like. I prefer lots of garlic. I literally used an entire bulb. It seems like a lot, but the oil and garlic taste great with thick slices of fresh bread.
  • Add the shrimp, and continue sauteing on medium high heat.
  • The shrimp only take about 3 minutes to cook. Don’t overcook the shrimp; they will become rubbery if cooked overly long.
  • Add paprika, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Saute shrimp until JUST cooked, when shrimp begin to color and curl, then remove the skillet from the heat.
  • Add lemon juice and fresh chopped parsley.
  • Mix well and serve in a bowl with thick slices of fresh bread.
garlic shrimp recipe
Spanish-style garlic shrimp recipe

Give this garlic shrimp recipe a try and let me know what you think…and bon appétit!

And for another tasty shrimp recipe, check out this classic New Orleans-style SHRIMP REMOULADE.
shrimp remoulade salad

Thanks for checking out the video and shrimp recipe! Click some of the buttons below to share this dish with friends and family. I appreciate it, and thanks for watching.
–Chef Buck

Fried Catfish Recipe …without the mess of frying

fried catfish recipe

Here’s a faux fried catfish recipe that’s not fried, but tastes just as good as fried catfish –and with a whole lot less mess. I use saltine crackers for the breading, but panko bread crumbs are a great substitute. And catfish tastes best with tartar sauce, so throw together a little tartar sauce, too; it’s super easy.

Not Fried Catfish Recipe Ingredients:

1 lbs. CATFISH
½ cup CORNMEAL
½ cup FLOUR
2 cups SALTINE CRACKERS (crushed)
OLIVE OIL
SPICES…whatever you like
…in this video I use:
1 tsp PAPRIKA
1 tsp GARLIC POWDER
½ tsp CAYENNE PEPPER
1 tsp OREGANO
1 tsp THYME
1 tsp SALT
1 tsp BLACK PEPPER

and for the TARTAR SAUCE RECIPE:
1 cup MAYONNAISE
about 1/3 cup SWEET RELISH
1 tsp PICKLED JALAPENO (minced)
1-2 Tbsp JALAPENO PICKLING SOLUTION
(or sub lemon juice for the pickling juice)

fried catfish recipe
Catfish tastes best with tartar sauce (and coleslaw!)

Not Fried Catfish Recipe Directions:

Catfish and tartar sauce are like Ying and Yang, so first things first, make the tartar sauce.
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sweet relish, jalapeno slices, and a little of the pickling solution. Ideally you do this a day ahead of time, or at the very least, a few hours; it’ll have a lot more flavor. Not a fan of jalapeno peppers?
Leave the peppers and pickling juices out, and substitute lemon juice instead.
Mix well and refrigerate.

In a bowl, crush the saltine crackers (or sub your favorite bread crumbs). Add the corn meal, all-purpose flour, and whatever spices and herbs you love.
The combo I use in this video is super tasty. Sometimes I use curry powder, which tastes fantastic, and also adds great color because of the turmeric. Whatever spices you use, be generous; catfish should be super flavorful!
Remember, whatever spice you use will be balanced by the creamy tartar sauce.

On a baking sheet, generously coat the catfish with olive oil. Coat both sides of the fish, and the pan. Dredge the fish in the breading, coating both sides.
Coat the fish well, and press the crumbs into the fish. Place on the baking pan and cook in an oven preheated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cook until the fish is well-colored and bounces back when pressed. The fish in this video cooked for 45 minutes, but the pieces were quite large.

Fried catfish, and this not quite fried catfish recipe, goes great with coleslaw, greens, and hush puppies. I’m usually too lazy to make all of that; often I’ll just serve catfish with coleslaw and garlic toast, but however you serve it, it’s a nice catfish course, and pretty easy to make.

Give this faux fried catfish recipe a try and let me know what you think…and bon appétit!

And for a classic catfish dinner side dish, try this Coleslaw Recipe.

coleslaw recipe
classic coleslaw recipe

Coleslaw Recipe — A Classic Southern Side Dish

coleslaw recipe

Here’s a simple, no-frills coleslaw recipe, which means it’s delicious, because nothing tastes great like a classic coleslaw, especially if you’re pairing it with catfish or fried chicken. Coleslaw can also be used as a sandwich topping, perfect for burgers, or anything BBQ.

Coleslaw Recipe Ingredients:

1 sm. CABBAGE (shredded)
3 med. CARROTS (shredded)
¼ cup ONION (minced…or chopped if using green onion)
1 cup MAYONNAISE
1-2 Tbsp fancy MUSTARD
2-3 Tbsp LEMON JUICE (or vinegar)
LEMON ZEST (if using fresh lemon, why not!)
1 Tbsp CELERY SEED (The most important ingredient?..maybe)
1 tsp SALT (or to taste, man)
1 tsp BLACK PEPPER

coleslaw recipe
coleslaw is the perfect side for catfish, chicken, and ribs…and makes a great sandwich topping, too.

Coleslaw Recipe Directions:

Shred the cabbage and carrot and combine in a large bowl.  Sometimes, for a more rustic coleslaw, I’ll chop the cabbage with a knife for chunkier pieces, like in this slaw video, but that’s a different kinda dish, and not what I think of when I want a basic coleslaw to pair with traditional southern-style dishes.
Add onion to the bowl. I’m using about 3 chopped green onions, but use any kinda onion you like.
For the dressing, combine the rest of the ingredients in a smaller bowl and mix until smooth and creamy.
I like using fresh lemon juice and zest, but use vinegar if you prefer; I like a mild rice vinegar with coleslaw.
My measurements for salt and pepper are only suggestions, so definitely adjust to taste.
And don’t use plain-Jane yellow mustard, spring for a fancy dijon or grey poupon!
Combine the dressing with the cabbage, carrot, and onion and toss well.
And that’s it.
Coleslaw is a must-have for fried catfish or chicken. Gotta have it with ribs! And coleslaw makes an excellent sandwich topping, too; add to hamburgers, sloppyjoes, or any kind of BBQ sandwich.

Give this classic coleslaw recipe a try and let me know what you think…and bon appétit!

And for an Indian twist on coleslaw, try this terrific Chickpea Curry Coleslaw Recipe.
chickpea curry coleslaw

Roasted Garlic Recipe …and make a Fancy Crostini

roasted garlic

This roasted garlic recipe is easy to prepare and there are a zillion uses for roasted garlic, like a spread for bread, which I do in this video for a quick crostini idea.
Roasted garlic makes a great addition to rice, potato, and quinoa dishes, jams, salad dressings…most things are better with a little garlic.

Roasted Garlic Recipe Ingredients:

GARLIC
SALT
PEPPER
OLIVE OIL
…plus herbs and spices if you like

For Crostini:
BREAD
FETA CHEESE
CAPERS
KALAMATA OLIVES

roasted garlic recipe
use roasted garlic to make a quick crostini

Roasted Garlic Recipe Directions:

When buying, choose garlic bulbs that are firm and have an intact “papery” outer covering. Avoid soft bulbs, or bulbs that have give and seem overly dry and desiccated. Buy bigger bulbs with bigger cloves! Peeling garlic is a semi-pain, so make it easier on yourself and choose the largest cloves available.

Remove the papery outer covering and separate the cloves.
Do you have a secret tip (that really works!) for quickly peeling garlic cloves? If so, please let me know! I’ve found that the best way for me is the tried and true one-at-a-time method: just give each clove a gentle whack, enough to break the peel, and then remove the skin.
Place peeled cloves on a sheet of aluminum foil.

Drizzle with olive oil. It doesn’t have to be a lot, just enough to coat the cloves.
Add salt and pepper to taste, and any dried herbs or seasonings you like. I usually add a little thyme.
Stir and coat the cloves in the oil and seasonings and then close up the aluminum foil like a Hershey’s Kiss.
Place on a baking sheet and slide into an oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bake 30-40 minutes and they’ll be soft and ready for use.

Raw garlic is super strong with a burning bite, but roasting mellows out the bite and transforms the garlic into a tasty treat that can be popped into your mouth whole. I usually eat a handful of cloves when they’re right out of the oven–I can’t help myself!
Warm roasted garlic is great on a crostini, which is really just a fancy piece of toast.
Toast slices of French bread and smear on the warm garlic cloves like butter. Top with feta cheese, capers, and kalamata olives for a quick treat.

Use roasted garlic as a spread for sandwiches.
Mix into mashed potatoes or rice dishes (or quinoa).
Add roasted garlic to salads or mash into salad dressings.
Add to jams, and gravies, and guacamole.
Mix with butter for garlic bread.
Add roasted garlic to anything; it’s a great item to have in the fridge.
Store refrigerated and it will keep several days, store in a jar refrigerated and covered with oil, and it will keep a little longer,but there are so many uses for roasted garlic, it will be very easy to find ways to quickly use it up.
Give this roasted garlic recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for another simple and versatile recipe dish, try this Pickled Daikon and Carrot Relish.

Vietnamese Pickled Daikon and Carrot Relish
click pic for Vietnamese Pickled Daikon and Carrot recipe

Fish Chowder Recipe …New England Style

fish chowder recipe

Try this creamy, New England-style Fish Chowder recipe. I use half and half in this dish, but use heavy cream if you like. I also use cod as the primary ingredient, but add additional seafood and you’ve got seafood chowder!–Amazing!

Fish Chowder Recipe Ingredients:

2½ lbs. COD…or some kinda fish (skinless, boneless, and chopped into chunks)
3 med. POTATOES (peeled/cut into ½ inch pieces)
4-5 slices BACON (chopped)
1 Lg ONION (chopped)
1 cup CELERY (chopped)
½ cup CARROT (chopped)
HOT PEPPER (as desired)
8oz CLAM JUICE
2 Tbsp FLOUR
1 tsp dried OREGANO
1 tsp dried THYME
1 BAY LEAF
1 Tbsp BLACK PEPPER (fresh ground)
SALT (to taste)
½ cup HALF N HALF or HEAVY CREAM (add more for more creaminess)

Fish Chowder Recipe Directions:

Heat a large pot and add chopped bacon.
When bacon is cooked, add onion, celery, and hot pepper (optional) and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Add black pepper (fresh cracked is ideal), oregano, and thyme. Mix ingredients and cook another minute.
Add chopped potato and carrot, cover with water (use half water half chicken or veggie stock if desired), and add bay leaf. Stir, cover and raise pot to a boil, then reduce and simmer approx. 10 minutes, or until the potatoes soften (but not mushy!).

Add fish (or a variety of seafood if you like). Cod or halibut are commonly used fish in chowders.
Return pot to boil, then reduce and simmer about 5 minutes.
In a small mixing bowl, add clam juice and flour and mix well.
Stir this into the pot and cook 2 minutes until chowder thickens.

Turn off the heat and add half and half or heavy cream. I don’t put too much in myself, cause I don’t like my chowder too milky,but add a little extra if you like.
And that’s it. Top with a sprinkle of parsley or chives and serve with crackers or thick-sliced bread.
Ideally it’ll sit a few hours before you eat it, or even the next day–soups and stews are always better the next day,although I rarely plan that far ahead–still it’s a lot of chowder and you might have leftovers since it’s a big pot.

It’s easy to make and I hope you like it.
Give this fish chowder recipe a try and let me know what you think…and bon appétit!

And for another simple seafoody dish, try this tasty Canned Mackerel Stew Recipe.

fish stew recipe
click picture for canned mackerel stew recipe

Pasta Salad with Israeli Couscous …also Called Ptimim

pasta salad

Israeli couscous, also called pearl couscous or ptitim, makes a great pasta salad. It’s called “couscous”, but isn’t what I think of when I think of couscous –it boils up into tiny pasta balls about the size of a blueberry. Toss pearl couscous into a salad with your favorite dressing and some fresh veggies and it makes a quick and healthy side dish, or even a full meal if you throw it on a bed of greens.

Israeli Couscous Pasta Salad Ingredients:

1 pkg ISRAELI COUSCOUS (8.8 oz)
1 lg ENGLISH CUCUMBER (sliced)
1 CARROT (strings?…whatever, man)
2 cups PARSLEY (chopped)
TOMATO (sliced)
….and whatever’s in the fridge you need to get rid of.
dressing:
¼ cup OLIVE OIL
3 Tbsp LEMON JUICE (or vinegar)
2 tsp LEMON ZEST
2 tsp GARLIC (minced)
2 tsp GINGER (minced)
SALT and PEPPER to taste
(plus whatever you want)

pasta salad
Israeli couscous is also called pearl couscous or ptimim.

Israeli Couscous Pasta Salad Directions:

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil and add in the Israeli couscous. Salt and oil are not needed. Reduce heat down to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove thepot from the heat and strain the couscous. Rinse with cold water to halt the cooking process and to keep the pasta from becoming too soft.

Slice fresh veggies. Use the ones I have listed above or use your favorites–and especially use whatever veggies you have in the fridge that you need to get rid of. Whenever I make a big salad,it’s almost always to utilize ingredients that are gonna go bad if I don’t do something with them soon–it’s a win-win, I end up not wasting food and getting something healthy to eat.

pasta salad
uncooked Israeli couscous

In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients. I like to use fresh lemon juice because it’s awesome. but it’s also great to keep lemons on hand for the fresh zest–lemon zest adds a nice zing to salads and dressings. If you don’t have fresh lemon on hand, substitute vinegar.

In a bowl, toss together the couscous, veggies, and dressing. If you’re going to be serving and eating it all right away, go ahead and add tomato, but if you’re going to refrigerate some or all of the salad for later, just wait and add the tomato when you’re serving (refrigerated tomatoes are no fun).

Israeli (pearl) couscous is great in these kinda salads. I often use quinoa in these types of dishes, but this couscous makes a nice change of pace, so give it a go if you’re regularly eating salads and need to mix things up a bit.

Give this Israeli couscous recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for another tasty salad idea, try this Quinoa and Roasted Veggie Salad.

how to cook quinoa
Quinoa with roasted root vegetables–click pic for recipe.

Hearts of Palm Recipe with Beans …healthy and tasty!

hearts of palm

Hearts of palm are often used in salad recipes. Heart of palm is literally the edible core of a palm tree stem. It’s easily found sold in cans, but CG scored a fresh heart of palm, so we’ll take a look at this weirdo veggie and make a simple, but very tasty salad. Canned hearts of palm are not as crunchy as fresh heart, so be sure and add CELERY to this recipe when using canned hearts of palm.

Hearts of Palm Recipe Ingredients:

1 heaping cup sliced HEART OF PALM
15oz can MIXED BEANS
1 tsp GINGER (minced)
½ cup CILANTRO
½ cup GREEN ONIONS (chopped)
dressing:
2 Tbsp LEMON JUICE
½ tsp LEMON ZEST
1 Tbsp RICE VINEGAR
1 Tbsp heavy OLIVE OIL
2 tsp SOY SAUCE
SALT and PEPPER to taste
if using canned hearts of palm, add ½ cup chopped CELERY
(and toasted nuts are never a bad idea, either)

hearts of palm
Fresh heart of palm and salad.

Hearts of Palm Recipe Directions:

If using fresh heart of palm, slice away the bamboo-like outer hull and remove the heart. fresh heart of palm has a great texture, a little crunchy with a creamy after taste; this slight crunch makes fresh heart of palm ideal for salad–canned hearts of palm are not as firm, so be sure to add ½ cup celery to this recipe if using canned hearts of palm.
In a bowl, combine the beans, heart of palm, cilantro, ginger, and green onion. A mix of beans is ideal…different beans will add a variety of textures.
In a smaller bowl, combine the dressing ingredients and whisk well–super well!
Add the dressing to the salad and toss.
And that’s it.
We found this simple combo to be quite tasty. You can always add more ingredients, but sometimes simple is best.
Be sure to add celery for crunch if using canned hearts, and toasted nuts are always a great crunchy element for salads–plus they add protein to the dish as well.

Hearts of palm
Hearts of palm in a can

Give this heart of palm recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for another tasty salad idea, check out this Black-eyed Pea Salad.
black eyed pea salad
Click on Pic for Recipe

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe for Cakes…and cupcakes

cream cheese frosting recipe

Need an easy, super tasty cake frosting? This cake frosting recipe is ready in minutes and makes the perfect icing for cake (and cupcake!) perfection! It’s an especially great balance for a chocolate cake. You can make this frosting as thick or thin as you like, just add more powdered sugar to thicken, and more milk to thin, but add the milk just a wee little at a time–it doesn’t take much.

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe Ingredients:

8oz CREAM CHEESE, softened
¼ cup unsalted BUTTER, softened
2 cups POWDERED SUGAR
1 tsp VANILLA EXTRACT
1 Tbsp MILK

cream cheese frosting recipe
Make this tasty frosting super quick!

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe Directions:

About an hour ahead of time, set out the cream cheese and butter to soften.
In a bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract and blend with hand mixer.
Once ingredients begin to come together, add in the powdered sugar. Add the sugar a bit at a time to avoid a sugary blending mess.
Mix until the frosting is smooth. To thin the frosting add a small amount of milk–no more than a Tablespoon at a time! For a thicker frosting,
just add more powdered sugar.
And that’s it.
Spread on your dessert and eat away!

cream cheese frosting recipe
Add milk to thin, or more powdered sugar to thicken the frosting.

Give this cream cheese frosting recipe a go and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for more tasty dessert ideas, check out these tasty treats:

baked pears
click the pic for more desserts!

“Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.” ~Ernestine Ulmer
“If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.” ~Carl Sagan
“Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.” ~Erma Bombeck

Thai Rice Recipe –with Quinoa! simple and healthy

thai rice

What is more awesome than a Thai rice recipe? Thai quinoa! Quinoa provides a complete protein, so you’ll get more bang for your buck by substituting quinoa in this simple, yet delicious Thai-style dish.

Quinoa Thai Rice Recipe Ingredients:

1 cup QUINOA
1 can COCONUT MILK
1 ONION (chopped)
2 Tbsp GINGER (minced)
1 Tbsp CHILI-GARLIC SAUCE
1-2 tsp LEMONGRASS (minced)
4-6 cloves GARLIC (finely chopped)
2 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
½ tsp TURMERIC
CILANTRO (chopped)
ENGLISH CUCUMBER (chopped)
ROMA TOMATO (chopped)
2-3 Tbsp RICE VINEGAR
SALT and PEPPER to taste

thai rice
Thai-Style Quinoa Recipe

Quinoa Thai Rice Recipe Directions:

Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium high. Add chopped onion, garlic, and ginger. Saute for 3-4 minutes until ingredients begin to soften. Add chili-garlic sauce, turmeric, and salt to taste. Mix well and continue sauteing for another minute.
Add quinoa and stir well.
In a measuring cup, add one can of coconut milk, and then add additional water to bring the liquid to 2½ cups. Pour the coconut/water mixture into the skillet and mix well with the quinoa.
Stir in the minced lemongrass.
Raise the skillet temperature and bring ingredients to a boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and let dish cook undisturbed for 15 minutes.

Thai rice
Pair a simple salad with Thai Quinoa for a complete meal.

While the quinoa cooks, chop cucumber and tomato into a bowl.  Use a cucumber with a thin, edible skin, it’s a great texture for this dish. Add fresh chopped ginger and cilantro, salt and pepper to taste, and a generous amount of rice vinegar; the tartness of the vinegar adds a great contrast to the coconut creaminess of the quinoa. Thoroughly mix the salad ingredients and set aside.
Once the quinoa has simmered for 15 minutes, remove from the heat and let sit 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and add fresh chopped cilantro; if you’re not a fan of cilantro, basil makes an excellent substitute.
Serve quinoa in a bowl with the cucumber/tomato salad.
It’s crazy creamy and awesome recipe. So simple and delicious, and makes a great meal. Definitely give this Thai rice quinoa recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for another Thai inspired recipe, try this Quinoa Thai Curry Recipe.
quinoa thai curry

French Toast Recipe –Best Stuffed French Toast!

french toast

Why have Plain Jane French Toast when you can have Fancy Pants cheese stuffed French Toast? A little creamy cheese and cinnamon ginger apples can transform your breakfast into a 10-year old’s dream breakfast.

French Toast Ingredients:

BREAD (sliced, stale)
1½ cups MILK
4 EGGS
BUTTER for frying, and apples
APPLES (peeled, sliced)
CANDIED GINGER (sliced)
WALNUTS (toasted)
8 oz CREAM CHEESE (soft)
15 oz RICOTTA CHEESE
CINNAMON (to taste)
optional: sugar and vanilla

french toast
Stale bread makes the best french toast! –slice ahead of time!

French Toast Directions:

Stale bread makes great French toast, so slicing bread ahead of time is a great idea; at least a few hours ahead of time, but ideally overnight. Stale bread will soak up the French toast batter without becoming overly soggy and falling apart, especially if you’re using thinner slices of bread, and the thinner or thicker the slices will depend on your particular tastes. This French toast recipe doesn’t need thicker slices, since you’re basically building a French toast sandwich; I’m using thicker slices of challa bread for this video, but I often use regular slices of Hawaiian sweet bread, which works great.

Mix the cream cheese and ricotta cheese together. Be sure to set your cream cheese out ahead of time to soften, this will make mixing it with the ricotta cheese much easier. I’ll often mix these ingredients ahead of time. If making a smaller amount, the cheese mix is about a 2 to 1 ratio of ricotta to cream cheese. I sometimes add a tsp. or two of sugar to the cheese mix, but this is optional; I prefer it without the added sugar, since the apple mix will be quite sweet.

Any leftover cream/ricotta mix can be used as dessert topping, and makes a tasty filling for omelets. I generally make too much apple mix, but that’s a good thing, too. I’m generous with the apple topping, and any leftover apple mix is a perfect topping for oatmeal or ice cream.

french toast
Creamy cheese filled French Toast

To make the apple mix, peel, slice, and remove the cores of the apples. Apples vary quite a bit in size, but I usually end up with about 4-6 cups of apple slices, and I generally use gala or Fuji apples, which take little time to cook down.

Melt about 2 Tbsp of butter in a pot and add apples. Mix with butter and cook over medium heat. Add candied ginger slices; I think ½ to 1 cup is a good amount of candied ginger, but there is no wrong amount, follow your gut. Add 1-2 Tbsp of sugar and cinnamon to taste, Mix and cover and cook about 20 minutes, until apples soften and get juicy. For extra liquidy goodness, stir in about ¼ cup water. You want the apples to be a little syrupy, that way you won’t have to use any maple syrup with the French toast. Once the apples are cooked to your liking, cover and set aside.

Mix the French toast batter. A basic batter is eggs and milk, and I’m also adding cinnamon, but often folks will add a little sugar or vanilla extract. I don’t add vanilla or sugar to the batter with this particular dish, because the creamy cheese center and apple-ginger topping will add more than enough flavor. In a bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and cinnamon to taste (½ tsp is a good amount). Whisk together well and then pour some into a shallow bowl–or all–it depend on the size of your shallow bowl; you don’t want the batter to be so deep that it runs into the cheesy part of your French toast sandwich.

To build the French toast sandwich, simply spread the cheese mixture onto a slice of bread and top with another slice, making a basic cheese sandwich.

You can also add toasted walnuts into the sandwich for a nice crunch, or simply top the toast later with toasted nuts, but definitely add nuts at some point, cause the crunchy contrast makes the dish perfect, and toasted walnuts are awesome.
To toast the walnuts: spread walnuts on a baking sheet and roast at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-7 minutes. It won’t take long. As soon as the nuts begin to color up, remove them from the oven; they will burn if ignored, so set a timer and watch them closely. Taking the time to toast the walnuts is well worth the effort…it’s a great taste.

Once you’ve constructed the cheesy French toast sandwich, heat a little butter in a non-stick skillet on medium heat.
Place the sandwich in the batter and let soak a moment and then turn and batter the other side.
Place sandwich in the skillet and cook on medium heat until golden brown, turn and cook other side and remove from the heat.
Slice French toast and then top with apples and walnuts (a dusting of powdered sugar is optional). For a splash of color, add fresh berries or mint.

Serve this cheese stuffed French toast with maple syrup, or without–I find the cooked apples to be syrupy enough, and the warm cheesy center keeps the French toast from being too dry.

It’s a super delicious dish and a great treat for company.

Give this fancy pants Cream Cheese French Toast recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for another fancy pants breakfast dish, try this Pancake Recipe.

Fancy pancakes are easy to make.
Fancy pancakes are easy to make, and better looking, too.

How to Eat Pomegranate Fruit — great nutrition!

how to eat pomegranate

How to eat pomegranate. First off, Pomegranate is a weird, messy fruit.

When selecting a pomegranate, choose a fruit that is heavy for its size; like with most fruits, this signifies that it is fresh and juicy. The skin should be firm.

How to Eat Pomegranate

Pomegranate juice can be quite messy, and will easily stain clothing. It is a good idea to slice and prepare pomegranate in a large bowl or kitchen sink where the juice splatter can be contained.

The edible part of the pomegranate are the red “seeds” within the fruit. These seeds are called arils. Inside the arils you’ll find an inner seed that is a little gritty, but it is edible and contributes to the overall texture of the pomegranate, which is…interesting. Pomegranate is a food folks tend to love or hate, but whichever camp you fall into, pomegranate will provide an attractive and nutritious experience. Pomegranate is high in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins C, and potassium.

pomegranate
arils from pomegranate

To remove the arils, slice the pomegranate in half, and then into wedges. The arils are held firm by a membranous inside that is bitter and not to be eaten. The arils can be easily pulled away from the membrane. There are quite a lot of arils in a pomegranate, so this can take a little time…playing some cool jazz will help.

Some folks like to remove the seeds while holding the pomegranate beneath a bowl of water…this will cut down on the splatter, but it will also dilute any of the juice within the fruit.

How to eat pomegranate? Pomegranate can be eaten raw, juiced, or cooked.

Pomegranates keep for a week at room temperature, or up to 3 weeks if refrigerated.

Pomegranate is often referred to as “the food of the Gods”. Give ’em a go. You’ll either love it or hate it.

And for another interesting fruit experience, give DRAGON FRUIT a try.

Black-Eyed Peas Recipe w/ Jalapeno and Bacon

black-eyed peas recipe

This Black-Eyed Peas Recipe is yummy anytime, and a particularly delicious way to get your black-eyed peas fix on New Years Day. Bacon, jalapeno, and black-eyed peas are a tasty combo that cooks up super simple, and adding a touch of flour gravies up the dish nicely. It makes a great side dish.

Black-Eyed Peas Recipe Ingredients:

15 oz can BLACK-EYED PEAS
3 slices BACON
JALAPENO SLICES (to taste)
1 tsp FLOUR
1 tsp BUTTER (if lean bacon)
¾ cup WATER

Black-Eyed Peas Recipe Directions:

First thing, fry up the bacon. I like to use 3 strips of bacon for each 15 oz can of beans (black-eyed peas are beans, dude).
Use only 2 strips if you like–but I like mine bacon-y, and I bet you will, too.
Once the bacon is cooked close to your liking, remove from the skillet and slice into bite sizes.
Return bacon to the skillet, and add jalapenos to taste. Saute bacon and jalapenos for about 1 minute.
If there is a tsp or more of bacon fat in the skillet, add flour…if the bacon is lean, with little grease, melt 1 tsp of butter and then add flour.
Stir ingredients for about 1 minute.
Add 15 oz. can of drained and rinsed black-eyed peas to the skillet. Mix with ingredients and let cook 1 minute.
Stir in ¾ cup water. Bring skillet to a bubble, then reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 5 minutes.
Add additional water as needed, but not too much.
The flour will thicken into a gravy.
And that’s it!
This dish makes a great side for pork chops, fish,–you name it! I like to pair it up with liver and onions–super delicious!

Give this black-eyed peas recipe a go and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for another tasty black-eyed peas recipe, try out this Black-Eyed Pea Salad Recipe.
black eyed pea salad

Parsnip Recipe — Creamy Mashed Parsnips

parsnip recipe

Parsnips are delicious and can be cooked into a great mash, just like potatoes. You can make this parsnip recipe as smooth or chunky as you like; I like it a little chunky–and I throw in a potato, too, with the skin on! The skin adds a great texture. Mashed parsnips make a nice change from the same old potato dish.

What You Need For This Parsnip Recipe

2 lbs. PARSNIPS
1 lb. POTATOES
3-4 Tbsp BUTTER
3-4 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
HALF N HALF, CREAM, or MILK as desired
SALT and PEPPER to taste
½ cup PARSLEY (chopped)
and enough water or broth to
cover the simmering parsnips

parsnip recipe
A delicious and creamy parsnip recipe. It’s a perfect side for a meaty entree or a filling addition to a vegetarian meal.

How to Make a Mashed Parsnip Recipe

Wash the parsnips and potato.
I don’t peel either!–the skin adds great texture and nutrition (but you can follow your own heart).
In a mid-size pot, heat butter and oil.
Chop the parsnips and potatoes into chunks roughly ½ inch in size–they don’t have to be perfect, close
is close enough.
Add chopped parsnips and potato to the pot, mix with butter and oil and let cook 2-3 minutes, stirring as needed.
Add water to the pot, just enough to cover the parsnips. Sometimes I use broth instead of water–give it a go sometimes,
but it’s delicious either way. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring the pot to a simmer, cover, and let simmer about 5 minutes.
Uncover and continue simmering until the liquid is reduced and parsnips are soft and break apart.
Add a little milk, cream, or half n half. This will make the dish super creamy; add to taste, but don’t add so much that the dish becomes soupy.
Stir over heat a minute or two until the dish reaches desired consistency; you can use a hand blender to puree the mix or leave it chunky
like a home-style mashed potato dish…it’s great both ways.

parsnip recipe
Here I’m serving parsnips with a country fried steak and fresh veggies.

Give this Mashed Parsnip recipe a go and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for another delicious parsnip dish, try this Parsnip Curry Soup Recipe.
curry parsnip soup
click on soup pic to watch recipe video.
And if you liked this parsnip recipe, click on some of the buttons below to share the recipe with your friends and family–I appreciate it!
–Chef Buck

Pork Tenderloin Recipe with Fancy Beans and Onion

pork tenderloin

You’re gonna love this pork tenderloin recipe. As the name suggests, pork tenderloin is a very tender cut of meat. It’s super flavorful, moist, and delicious, and easy to prepare. Leftover tenderloin is perfect on a sandwich, so cook up enough to leave leftovers…you’ll be glad you did. I’m cooking this pork tenderloin with onions and beans and it’s a great dish –definitely give it a try.

Pork Tenderloin Recipe Ingredients:

2½ lbs PORK TENDERLOIN
1½ Lg ONION
15oz can PINTO BEANS
5-7 cloves GARLIC
fresh HOT PEPPERS to taste (or use red pepper flakes, or nothing…it’s all optional, baby!)
OLIVE OIL (as you like…I oil the meat, the skillet, and then throw a little olive oil on the onions)
SEASONING for meat
(1 tsp salt, ½ tsp black pepper, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chili powder,
1 tsp Italian seasonings, etc…experiment, or use your own favorites)
½ cup dry WHITE WINE (optional)
½ cup CHICKEN BROTH

pork tenderloin
trim silver skin from tenderloin and sear 3 minutes each side before roasting in oven

Pork Tenderloin Recipe directions:

Trim the pork tenderloin of the sinewy silver skin.
Coat the pork in olive oil and seasonings.
I’m using a rub of chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and Italian seasonings…but use whatever flavors you like, or just keep it simple with basic salt and pepper–there’s no wrong way to do it; as long as you don’t overcook the pork, it’ll be awesome!
Pre-heat your oven to 425 F.
Cooking the tenderloin at a high temperature for a short time will keep it from drying out.
While the oven heats, sear the tenderloin on the stove top.
In a heavy, oven safe skillet, heat a little olive oil on medium high heat.
After the skillet and oil are hot, add the tenderloin–it should sizzle and cook right away.
Sear for 3 minutes and then turn and sear the other side.
Add thick sliced onion to the skillet. Do this after the tenderloin has been turned.
Add a little oil and seasonings to the onion.
After 3 minutes, remove the skillet from the stovetop and place in the oven at 425 F. (be sure to use an oven-safe skillet!)
Cook for approx. 20 minutes.
If using a meat thermometer, cook until the internal temperature of the pork is 145 F.
Remove the skillet from the oven and return to the stove top.
Remove the porkloin from the skillet and set aside 10 minutes to rest. It is very important to rest the meat before slicing. This will preserve the juiciness and flavor of the pork.
If you slice the tenderloin right away, the thin juices will run and much of the flavor and moisture will be lost!

pork tenderloin
let pork tenderloin rest before slicing

While the pork tenderloin rests, we’ll complete the onion and bean side dish.
On medium heat, continue cooking the onions in the skillet. The liquid in the pan will reduce as it cooks. Add garlic–a lot is good!–and if desired, throw in a little fresh chopped hot peppers.
Add the pinto beans
After a few minutes, if you like, add a little wine. It’s optional, but adds a great flavor.
Simmer about 2 minutes and let the wine cook off.
Add chicken broth and continue simmering until the liquid cooks down.
And that’s it.

pork tenderloin
pinto beans and caramalized onion

By now the pork tenderloin has rested enough and is ready to slice.
Serve the tenderloin with the beans and onion side, and maybe a little steamed broccoli or salad–and boom!–you got a complete fancy-pants pork tenderloin dinner!

pork tenderloin
Pork tenderloin dinner with caramelized onion and beans

Give this pork tenderloin recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for another great meal idea, try this Delicious Cornish Hen Dinner.

cornish game hen

Beet Greens Recipe …great over rice (or quinoa!)

beet greens

Try this easy beet greens recipe. I almost always buy beets with the beet greens still attached–you’re getting two great ingredients in one! Beet greens are quick to cook up, full of nutrients, taste great, and look great, too. Serve this recipe over rice or quinoa as an entree, or serve it all on it’s lonesome as a side dish.

Beet Greens Recipe Ingredients:

1 bunch BEET GREENS
1 bunch GREEN ONIONS (chopped)
1 can diced TOMATOES
4-5 cloves GARLIC (finely chopped)
2 Tbsp VINEGAR
1-2 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
SALT and PEPPER to taste
HOT PEPPERS (chopped, to taste)
serve over QUINOA or RICE

beet greens
Beet Greens with tomato and onion served over quinoa.

Beet Greens Recipe Recipe directions:

Wash beet greens well and then separate the stalk from the leaves. Chop the stalk into bite-sized peices, and then rough chop the greens.
Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat.
Add garlic and, if desired, a little fresh hot pepper.
Let these ingredients cook for about a minute, and then add chopped green onion bottoms (reserve chopped green onion tops to add later)
Cook for 2 minutes and then add the chopped beet stalks.
Saute for 1-2 minutes and then add diced tomato. Bring the skillet back up to a simmer. Add salt and pepper and simmer for approx. 5 minutes.
Add in a little vinegar. I’m throwing in 2-3 Tbsp by the time the dish is complete, but adjust to taste. Add vinegar incrementally–it’s a lot easier to put in than to take out!
Simmer dish another 2 minutes.
Add in the leafy greens and most of the green onion tops–I reserve a little of the green onion tops for a garnish.
Cover and simmer 2 minutes.
And that’s it!
Adjust the seasoning as desired, and get it off the heat. Serve the greens over rice or quinoa as an entree, or a side dish.

Give this beet greens recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for a roasted beet root recipe, try this Roasted Beet and Quinoa Dish.

how to cook quinoa
Quinoa with roasted root vegetables.

Thanks for checking the recipe out. If you liked it, click a button or two and share with friends!
I appreciate it!
–Chef Buck

Cook Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables Recipe

how to cook quinoa

How to cook quinoa with beets; a simple recipe that pairs quinoa with delicious roasted root vegetables. For this quinoa recipe, I roasted beets, carrot, and onion, but any root vegetable will do. I also added a little RAW ginger and garlic, to provide a flavor punch along with excellent nutrition. A complete protein, quinoa makes this dish an ideal vegetarian recipe. It’s a perfect side dish or main course.

Quinoa and Root Vegetable Recipe Ingredients:

1 cup QUINOA
2 med. BEET ROOTS
1 med. ONION
1-2 Lg CARROTS
2 Tbsp GARLIC (minced)
2 Tbsp GINGER (minced)
½ cup PARSLEY (chopped)
HOT PEPPER (to taste)
2 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
4-6 Tbsp VINEGAR
SALT and PEPPER to taste

how to cook quinoa
Chop root veggies into bite-size pieces (but big bites!)

How to Cook Quinoa and Root Vegetable Recipe

Wash and then chop beet bulbs and carrots into roughly ½ inch pieces–bite size, but not too small.
Chop onion into similar sizes.
Place chopped veggies in a bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
On an ungreased baking sheet, spread veggies out into a single layer and then roast approx. 30 minutes in an oven pre-heated at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Halfway through the roasting, give the veggies a stir and return to the oven.
While the root vegetables roast, prepare the quinoa.

If you’ve ever wondered how to cook quinoa …it’s just like rice: 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water. Most quinoa sold in stores throughout the USA has been pre-washed, but check packaging for details. If desired, add a little chopped hot pepper in with the quinoa. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer quinoa for about 15 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed. Remove pot from the heat and set aside for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Transfer quinoa to a bowl and season with salt, pepper, and vinegar to taste. Mix well, and then add the roasted vegetables. Add the raw, minced ginger and garlic, and the parsley. Toss until all of the ingredients are well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
This recipe makes an awesome side, but it also works well as an entree. It’s quite a filling dish, and since the quinoe provides a complete protein,

Give this quinoa and beet recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for another how to cook quinoa recipe, try this Spanish-Style Quinoa Recipe.

spanish quinoa

Thanks for checking the quinoa recipe out. If you liked it, click a button or two below and share it with friends. I appreciate it!
–Chef Buck

Salmon Burger Recipe using canned salmon

salmon Burger recipe

Use canned salmon to create this simple and satisfying salmon burger recipe. Canned salmon is perfect for making salmon patties, and salmon patties are an ideal stand-in for a hamburger when you’re hamburgered out –plus it’s a healthier choice.

Salmon Burger Recipe Ingredients:

14oz canned SALMON (red or pink)
¼ – ½ cup ONION (finely chopped)
HOT PEPPER (finely chopped, to taste)
2 EGGS (beaten)
SALT and PEPPER to taste
OIL for sauteing (3-4 Tbsp…salmon will soak up the oil)
1 Tbsp CURRY POWDER (optional)

salmon Burger recipe
Canned Salmon makes tasty burgers!

Salmon Burger Recipe Directions:

I love canned salmon–red or pink–although I prefer pink canned salmon when making burgers since the pink salmon is much cheaper to buy. I use the more expensive red salmon for making salmon salad.
Salmon in the can is already cooked–in fact it is part of the canning process that cooks the salmon.
Open the the can and drain off the liquid–you don’t want the salmon patties to be too wet when you form them.

salmon burger recipe
Canned Pink Salmon …traditional style means skin and bones are still intact

Traditional canned salmon will come with skin and bones still intact . The skin and bones are soft and edible. You can remove the skin and bones if you like; I used to remove them, but now I’m too cheap, and I don’t want to miss out on the extra nutrition, either.
Place drained salmon in a bowl.
Add ¼ – ½ cup onion depending on how much you like onion. Make sure the onion is finely chopped; smaller pieces will help keep the patties from falling apart. If desired, add some finely chopped hot pepper. If you don’t have fresh pepper, add a little chili powder or hot sauce.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add one or two beaten eggs. I like to use two beaten eggs because it helps to keep the patties together better; I don’t like my burgers to fall apart while I’m eating them.
Mix all the ingredients together well.
Shape into patties. I usually get 4 patties out of a 14oz can, but make as many as you like–bigger or smaller–depending on how big you want your burger to be.
Heat oil in a skillet. I like medium heat. You want the oil to be hot enough to sizzle when you add the patties, but not so hot that the patties will cook too quickly; you want the patties to get a nice cooked side before turning them, this will keep then from breaking apart. Cook 5-7 minutes and then turn gently when the patties are golden brown. Cook another 3-4 minutes and then remove from skillet and drain salmon patties on a paper towel.
I like to serve salmon patties on a toasted bun with sliced tomato, onion, lettuce and mayo.
It’s a nice break from hamburgers, and just as tasty.
Sometimes I’ll add a Tbsp of curry powder into the mix to make Curried Salmon Burgers, which you should definitely try sometime.

Give this salmon burger recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for another burger dish, try this Banh Mi Burger Recipe.
burger banh mi

Biscuit Recipe …win friends with impressive biscuits!

Easy Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe

It’s easy to make friends with this easy, awesome tasting biscuit recipe. Want to be one of the cool kids? Want to impress your spouse, or potential spouse? This biscuit recipe is the way to do it. And you can use these biscuits in all manner of meals. Serve them alone as a breakfast side, pile them up into the perfect breakfast sandwich, ladle them with gravy for a wholesome entree, or top them with whipped cream and strawberries for a decadent dessert!

Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe Ingredients:
4 cups ALL PURPOSE FLOUR
1 Tbsp BAKING POWDER
1 tsp BAKING SODA
1 tsp SALT
1 Tbsp SUGAR
1 cup BUTTER (diced, chilled)
1½ cups BUTTERMILK (chilled)
(plus buttermilk for brushing biscuit tops)

Biscuits with Gravy
Click pic for Biscuits with Mushroom Gravy Recipe

Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe Directions:
In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar (optional). Mix ingredients together well. Add diced butter. For best results use chilled butter –keep the diced butter in the refrigerator until needed. Cut butter into the flour using a pastry cutter or knives. Butter should be cut into pea-sized bits, but there’s no reason to be militant about it…nice chunks of butter are nice. Once the butter is cut into the flour, add buttermilk. Keep the buttermilk chilled until you are ready to use it–cold butter and buttermilk are best for this recipe.

Pour the buttermilk into the bowl, and using a spatula (or your hand), roll the flour around the edge of the bowl until the buttermilk is absorbed and the dry flour begins sticking together. Roll until there is very little loose flour…add a drop more buttermilk if needed, but do so sparingly–you don’t want the flour to be “wet”.

On a lightly floured surface, empty the bowl and press the flour together, knead once or twice and then spread the dough out into a flat, ½ inch thickness. Do not knead or “handle” the dough too much.

Flour the edges of a biscuit cutter or drinking glass and cut out biscuits. I like my buttermilk biscuit about 2″-3″ across, but make whatever size you like. Giant biscuits can be fun :^) Cut the biscuits closely and get as many out of the first press as you can. Once all of the biscuits are cut from the first press, bring the dough together again and cut out remaining biscuits–again trying to handle the dough as little as possible.

Arrange the biscuits touching side by side on a lightly greased pan or on parchment paper. Lightly brush the tops of the biscuits with buttermilk or melted butter–this will help them to brown nicely. Place biscuits in the oven and bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 15 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown to your liking.

whipped cream
click pic for Strawberry Shortcake knock-off recipe
biscuit recipe
click pic for a perfect breakfast sandwich!

Give these biscuit recipes a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

Whipped Cream -how to make dessert topping

whipped cream

Give up the cool whip, ’cause whipped cream is super easy to make at home. If you’ve got heavy whipping cream and a little powdered sugar, you can whip up your own topping –and if you’ve got some leftover biscuits, then you’re just one step away from a fantastic dessert –that one step being fresh fruit– ideally strawberries; Biscuits topped with strawberries and homemade whipped cream make a helluva tasty treat!

Homemade Whipped Cream Recipe Ingredients:

1 cup HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM
½ to 1 tsp VANILLA EXTRACT (to taste, really…it’s semi-optional, but do it)
1 Tbsp POWDERED SUGAR

whipped cream
Heavy Whipping Cream

Homemade whipped Cream is best made in a chilled, metal bowl–and if you’re using a hand mixer–chill the mixing paddles as well! –for scientific reasons involving temperature transference and passive ambient cooling, chilling these tools will assist in the “whippification”.
Into the chilled bowl, add cream.
Using a smoothie or hand mixer–or even a hand whisk!–whip the cream until it begins to thicken (but before it begins to peak). Once the cream begins to thicken, add in the powdered sugar and the vanilla.
Continue whipping until the cream thickens and forms “peaks”, i.e., turns into whipped cream.
At this point, it’s ready to use (if you refrigerate the topping, the cream will eventually break down and have to be re-whipped).

whipped cream
Strawberry Shortcake knock-off using leftover biscuits

Strawberry Biscuit Dessert Directions:

We like to pair this whipped topping with leftover biscuits to create a faux strawberry shortcake:
Take 1lb. of fresh strawberries and slice them into a bowl, add 1 to 2 Tbsp Sugar and mix. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight.
Slice biscuits in half and toast under a broiler.
Spoon the chilled strawberries over the toasted biscuits and top with homemade whipped topping.
Boom. It’s perfecto.

Give this homemade whipped Cream and strawberry biscuit dessert recipe a go and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for a quick biscuit tutorial, check out the Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe.

Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe
Easy Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe

Pesto Recipe …and How to Make Pesto Pasta

pesto recipe

This pesto recipe is crazy delicious, and makes a perfect sauce for pasta. I like my pesto pasta to have a thick sauce with lots of flavor!–a thin, watery pesto pasta is not for me; if you feel the same way, then give this pasta dish a go–and use a hearty pasta that will hold lots of pesto sauce, something like a penne or rotini pasta.

What You Need for Pesto Recipe

¾ cup PINE NUTS, toasted (or substitute almonds or walnuts)
2-3 cloves garlic
2 cups (packed) fresh BASIL leaves (sub 1 cup for SPINACH leaves)
[4oz grocery basil = approx 2 cups]
zest & juice from 1 small LEMON
½ – ¾ cup OLIVE OIL (darker the better)
½ tsp SALT and ¼ tsp PEPPER to taste
¼ tsp crushed RED PEPPER FLAKES
½ cup (to taste) freshly grated PARMESAN CHEESE (or asiago or Pecorino)

16oz PASTA (I prefer pene or rotini for this dish)

pesto recipe
Fresh ingredients make the best pesto

How to Make Pesto Recipe

Toast the pine nuts at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for approx 3 minutes–but watch them like a hawk!–they will toast fast and you DO NOT WANT TO OVER-TOAST OR BURN them ’cause they cost way TOO MUCH MONEY!

Place pine nuts and garlic in a food processor and pulse/chop.
Season with salt and pepper and red pepper flakes.
Into the processor, add basil (when buying basil, choose basil that has NOT flowered yet–or only a little–basil loses sweetness as the plant flowers), spinach, lemon juice and zest.

Process until the greens are shredded.
Add olive oil incrementally and process until fully incorporated and to desired smoothness and consistency.

Transfer the pesto to a serving bowl and mix in the freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

And that’s it–your pesto sauce is complete! Use it however you see fit!

For pesto pasta:
In a pot, cook 16oz of pasta according to package directions.
I recommend a pasta that is thick and hearty, with lots of surface area for the pesto sauce to cling to; I lprefer a penne or rotini pasta.

When pasta is cooked to desired consistency–al dente is best, I think–reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta–DO NOT RINSE!–this washes away flavor.

Immediately return drained pasta to the pot and add in the pesto. Mix with the noodles. Add some of the reserved pasta water until the sauce is as desired. Add pasta water SLOWLY! You DO NOT want to make your pesto sauce TOO THIN! Or at least I don’t–I like a lot of pesto flavor with my pasta.

Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve.

pesto recipe
Pesto Pasta Recipe

Give this pesto pasta recipe a go and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for a meatier pasta recipe, try this Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe.

spaghetti carbonara

Thanks for checking the pesto recipe out. If you liked the dish, then click a button or two below and share it with friends. I appreciate it!
–Chef Buck

Green Beans — how to cook green beans for good time

green beans

I’m not a lover of green beans, but sometimes green beans insert themselves into your life and then you just have to deal with them. Seeds and garlic and ginger are 3 friends that will help in this fight. This is a quick recipe, very tasty, and an effective way to deal with the green bean “problem”.

Green Bean Recipe Ingredients:
1 lb. GREEN BEANS
3 ROMA TOMATOES (chopped, or substitute 15oz can diced tomatoes)
2 Tbsp GARLIC (finely chopped)
2 Tbsp GINGER (finely chopped)
HOT PEPPERS (finely chopped, to taste–sub chili paste, hot sauce, sriracha, etc.)
½ tsp FENNEL SEEDS
1 tsp CUMIN SEEDS
SALT and PEPPER to taste
2-3 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
1-2 Tbsp BALSAMIC VINEGAR

green beans
Choose green beans that are firm and crisp!

Green Bean Recipe Directions:
When buying, choose green beans that are firm and crisp, meaning that when you snap off the ends, they’ll make an actual “snap”. Which is the first thing you’ll do–snap off the ends and discard them. Wash your beans–and then blanch them.
To blanch, place beans into a pot of salted, boiling water and let them cook for 3-4 minutes, then remove beans from the hot water and transfer to an ice bath. Blanching prepares the beans so that they will cook easier and more quickly in the skillet.
Drain the beans and set aside
In a skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add cumin and fennel seeds and allow to cook for just a few moments (10-20 seconds). Seeds add great flavor and texture–do yourself a favor and stock your kitchen with seeds! Add garlic (lots of garlic!) and continue cooking. Add a little fresh, diced hot pepper if you like–jalapenos or chili peppers are nice–or if you like, just add some chili paste, or hot sauce later.
Cook garlic and peppers for about 1 minute and then add in the chopped tomatoes and ginger, and let cook another 2-3 minutes.
Stir green beans into the skillet.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Cook 3-5 minutes until the green beans are cooked to your taste, and that’s it.
Add a splash of balsamic vinegar if you like–I do–the tang is quite nice with this dish.

Give these green beans a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for a green beans with an Asian flair, try this Asian-style Green Bean Recipe.

Green Bean Recipe
Green Bean Recipe

Watermelon Salad Recipe –or how to save a sad melon

watermelon salad

Watermelon Salad is simple to throw together and a tasty way to save a crappy melon. CG loves watermelon, but once in a while she brings home a dud that just doesn’t make the cut; so what does one do with an unsweet, flavorless melon? Turn it into a savory salad dish!

Watermelon Salad Recipe Ingredients:
6 cups crappy, unsweet, seedless WATERMELON
1-2 Tbsp fresh MINT (chopped)
¼ cup RED ONION (chopped)
¼ cup FETA CHEESE crumbles
½ cup toasted ALMOND SLIVERS

dressing:
¼ cup BALSAMIC VINEGAR
2 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
1 Tbsp DIJON MUSTARD
1 Tbsp MAPLE SYRUP (or substitute honey)
1 clove GARLIC (minced)
SALT and PEPPER to taste

watermelon salad
Turn crappy watermelon into happy watermelon! (sorry)

Watermelon Salad Directions:
This salad works best with a seedless melon–’cause it’s a salad–and no one wants to dig seeds out of a salad.
Wash your melon and cut away the rind. Slice the red flesh into hearty, but mouth-sized pieces. If it’s sweet–then you’re set! Chow down, because that’s what a melon is for! –but if it’s not sweet, if it’s a flavorless lump that sits in your mouth like play-doh, then don’t despair…it’s salad time.
First thing, make the dressing.
In a small bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, maple syrup (or substitue honey), garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix together and set aside.
In a larger bowl combine cut watermelon pieces, mint, red onion, feta cheese, and almond slivers. I’ve suggested some ingredient measurements–but that’s just a loose guildeline, man. It’s a salad…follow your heart (and taste buds).
Add salad dressing to taste and toss.
Boom.
That’s it, dude.
Your crappy melon has been transformed into a delicious salad.

Give this Watermelon Salad recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for another tasty salad recipe, try this Black-eyed Pea Salad Recipe.

black eyed pea salad

Bok Choy Recipe — Healthy Bok Choy Soup

bok choy recipe

This bok choy recipe is one of my favorites. Bok choy is a type of cabbage, and quite versatile. It’s easily found in markets and is sold in several shapes and sizes under the name bok choy ranging from dinky baby bok choy to the larger size cabbages that I like to use for soups.

Bok Choy Recipe Ingredients:
1 large BOK CHOY (rough chopped)
2 medium SWEET POTATOES (cubed)
1 medium ONION (chopped)
CHILI PEPPERS (to taste)
2 Tbsp GINGER (sliced, minced)
5-7 cloves GARLIC (chopped)
1 Tbsp CORIANDER POWDER
1 tsp MANGO POWDER
1 tsp LEMONGRASS POWDER (or fresh lemongrass)
1 can COCONUT MILK
½ cup fresh BASIL (chopped)
SALT and PEPPER to taste
WATER enough to cover ingredients

bok choy recipe
bok choy cabbage

Bok Choy Recipe Directions:
In a soup pot, heat oil on medium high heat and add the ginger, garlic, chili peppers (or jalepenos, or whatever your favorite heat is–or no heat if you wanna skip the bite), and onion.
Saute for a minute or two and then add in the corriander, mango powder, and lemongrass powder (if using fresh lemongrass, add in with onions). Mix well and saute for another minute.
Add in sweet potatoes, skinned and cubed into ½ inch peices.
Add one 13.5 oz can of coconut milk and 1 can of water.
Bring pot to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let cook for 5-6 minutes.
While pot simmers, separate the bok choy stalks from the leaves and wash well.
When the 5-6 minutes are up, add in the bok choy stalk bottoms and mix well. Add more water if needed. The water should be just enough to cover the soup ingredients, add sparingly.
Bring pot back to a simmer, cover and let cook for another 2 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in the bok choy leaves and cook for 1 minute.
Stir in the fresh chopped basil and remove from the heat.
And that’s it.
Eat it when you wanna eat it.
Soup is a great opportunity to clean out the fridge, so experiment with adding other veggies. I often add carrots and bell pepper.

Give this bok choy recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for another Asian inspired dish, try this Thai Eggplant Recipe.

Thai Eggplant Recipe
Thai Eggplant Curry Recipe

Fried Quinoa Recipe — Quinoa Fried “Rice”

fried quinoa recipe

This fried quinoa recipe is a quick and tasty take on Chinese fried rice. Quinoa makes a great substitute for rice in many recipes, especially quinoa fried “rice”. Quinoa is a complete protein, which makes this dish a complete meal, even if you leave out the egg–which is an easy way to make this a vegetarian recipe. Of course you can go the other route and throw in a little diced pork chop or ham if you like, but I’m quite happy with just a couple scrambled eggs thrown in.

Fried Quinoa Recipe Ingredients:
1 cup QUINOA (before cooking)
1 cup PEAS
1 CARROT (diced)
4-6 GREEN ONIONS (chopped, tops separate)
3-5 cloves GARLIC (finely chopped)
2 Tbsp GINGER (finely chopped)
HOT PEPPERS (as desired, finely chopped)
2 EGGS (scrambled)
2-3 Tbsp OIL for sautéing
SOY SAUCE as desired
SESAME OIL 1-2 tsp
SALT and PEPPER to taste

fried quinoa recipe
Quinoa Fried “Rice”

Fried Quinoa Recipe Directions:
This is a great dish for leftover quinoa. The next time you’re making a pot of quinoa for another recipe, just make a little extra for this fried rice recipe knockoff! But if you don’t have any leftover
cooked quinoa handy, just prepare this quinoa a little ahead of time to give it time to cool down–this will keep the quinoa from easily overcooking and becoming mushy.

Quinoa is easy to prepare–just like rice, in fact! Rinse the quinoa if needed (many brands come pre-rinsed). In a pot, add 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce pot to a
simmer, and then cover and let cook 13 minutes (this will result in slightly al-dente quinoa, which is what you want for frying). Remove the quinoa from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
Then fluff with a fork and allow to cool completely (salt if desired).

For fried rice, I like to scramble my eggs first and then set aside. I Use two eggs for this recipe, but feel free to use 1, or 3, or none if you want a vegetarian fried quinoa. Whisk the eggs (add a
splash of milk if desired–makes scrambled eggs smoother). Heat oil in a skillet and quickly scramble eggs on med-high heat and then set aside for later.

In a large skillet, heat 2-3 Tbsp oil on medium.

Add raw, diced carrots (should be about pea size). Add chopped hot peppers, too–if desired. I like adding a little fresh red chili peppers for taste, but jalapenos would work just as well, or red
pepper flakes, or even just a little sriracha later, if desired–or no heat at all–it’s up to your tastes; follow your heart, but spicy food is good for you, right?

Sauté the carrot and peppers for a minute and then add the ginger, garlic, and chopped green onion bottoms (reserve the chopped tops for a flavorful garnish).

Continue sautéing another minute and then add in the quinoa. Stir fry until heated through, this won’t take very long.

Add sesame oil and peas. I like to use frozen peas (thawed), because they hold their texture better than canned peas. Stir until mixed. Add soy sauce to taste. Add fish sauce if desired. The
sauces will provide plenty of salt, but if you want a little black pepper, go ahead and throw that in now.

Mix up and then add the scrambled egg. Mix and fry for another minute and then remove from the heat.

That’s it.

This dish is ready pretty quick. Top the fried quinoa with chopped green onion, crushed peanuts, or both. Serve fried quinoa it’s own or with a veggie side (broccoli or bok choy or Thai eggplant
are nice).

Give this Fried Quinoa recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!
And for more tasty quinoa dishes, check out my Quinoa Video Playlist.

quinoa salad

Boiled Peanut Recipe – A Southern Tradition

boiled peanut recipe

This boiled peanut recipe is a southern tradition and a delicious mess. You can readily find boiled peanuts sold along roadsides throughout the Southern USA. Boiled peanuts are a messy treat–and a little bit of work to eat–they’re kinda like eating pistachios in a soggy shell (not taste-wise, just work-wise). I love ’em–I don’t make them, ’cause I’m too lazy–but I’m always happy to eat them when CG boils up a batch, especially if she’s digging them out of the shells for me.

Boiled Peanut Recipe Ingredients:
3 lbs RAW “green” PEANUTS
½ cup SALT
optional:
BAY LEAVES
CHILI POWDER
GARLIC fresh or dried
HOT PEPPERS fresh or dried
HOT SAUCE
flavored BOULLION (broth)
…pretty much any seasoning that you like!

southern boiled peanuts
southern style boiled peanuts

Boiled Peanut Recipe Directions:
Ideally you want to use raw “green” peanuts. Green peanuts are not green, that just means they’re minimally processed–pretty much just out of the ground. Use green peanuts quickly, because they will not keep long and are prone to mold. Green peanuts are ideal because they will more quickly and most readily absorb the seasonings during the boil. You can use peanuts that have been dried in the shell, but don’t use roasted peanuts.

Wash and rinse the peanuts thoroughly, and then place them in a large pot and cover with plenty of water.

Place on the stovetop, cover and bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and allow the peanuts to cook for 2 hours. Add more water to the pot as needed. The peanuts should always be covered in plenty of water. At first the peanuts will float, but after time, the peanuts will sink.

After 2 hours, add seasonings (it’s in the latter part of the boil that the peanuts absorb the most flavor). Add salt, which is the primary ingredient–in fact salt is all you need; many folks JUST USE SALT–they’re plenty tasty that way, but we prefer to add other seasonings as well, which is generally called “cajun boiled peanuts”. For this batch we added several cloves of raw garlic, dried chili peppers, and ½ cup chili powder. But you can add whatever seasonings you like.

Cover, and allow the peanuts to continue bubbling on medium heat for 30 more minutes.

After thirty minutes, remove the peanuts from the heat and allow to sit in the seasoned water until they reach the desired flavor, anywhere from 2-5 hours. The longer they sit cooling in the pot, the more seasoned they will become. Give them a try every half hour until you’re happy with the flavor.

They are a mess to eat, but delicious and addictive. Once you start eating them, it’s hard to stop–they will go quickly! If you have leftovers, just drain them and store them in the fridge in ziplock bags. You can also freeze them in ziplocks for longer storage.

Give this Boiled Peanut Recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for another southern dish, try this Chicken Fried Steak Recipe.

Country Fried Steak recipe
Country Fried Steak with Gravy

Buffalo Chicken Pizza Recipe — Quick and Easy

buffalo chicken pizza

I love buffalo chicken dishes whether they’re wings, casseroles, salads, and especially if it’s a buffalo chicken pizza. The combo of chicken, hot sauce, celery, and blue cheese is absolutely perfect, and a buffalo chicken pizza can be prepared super quick, especially if you’re lazy like me and skip the making a pizza crust part. I prefer flat bread for a pizza crust. If you’ve got leftover chicken and you’re the kinda person who likes hot wings with blue cheese, then you’ll probably enjoy this buffalo chicken pizza recipe.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza Recipe Ingredients:
I won’t suggest specific amounts…it’ll all depend on the size of your pizza!
FLAT BREAD (pita bread, etc.)
leftover CHICKEN (cooked, chopped)
HOT SAUCE (whatever)
BLUE CHEESE DRESSING (good kind…don’t be cheap)
BLUE CHEESE CRUMBLES (crumbled)
CELERY (chopped)
MOZZARELLA CHEESE (shredded)

buffalo chicken pizza pie

Buffalo Chicken Pizza Recipe Directions:
As far as the amounts of ingredients goes…just follow your heart. I suggest going heavy on the toppings. A lot of celery doesn’t sound fun, but the overall contrast of tastes and textures is what makes this pizza delicious, so use lots of everything–including hot sauce–the hotter the better! The dairy in the blue cheese chunks and dressing will balance the heat.

Chop up some cooked chicken–use leftovers or just cook up a breast or two for topping. I like nice chicken chunks, about ½” square–but shred it if you like–it’s your pizza, man.

Drench the chopped chicken in hot sauce and set aside.

Chop up celery into ¼” thick pieces.

In a bowl combine a nice blue cheese dressing with blue cheese crumbles, about a 50/50 mixture. The result should be the consistency of a cottage cheese.

If you wanna make a pizza dough from scratch, God bless you. CG does, and it’s nice. I’m too lazy, and I actually prefer flat bread. I like pita bread–or any kind of flat bread. I’ve never tried naan, but it sounds good to me.

Spread the blue cheese dressing/crumbles over the flat bread. Spread it thick and even, almost to the edge–leave about a ¼” for a crust.

Generously top pizza with the hot sauce chicken chunks and celery.

Cover with shredded mozzarella cheese.

Place on an ungreased baking sheet and cook in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges of the flat bread are crisped to your liking.

And that’s it! Hope you like it.

Give this Buffalo Chicken Pizza Recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for another junk food favorite, try this Nachos Supreme Recipe.

nachos platter
nachos platter

Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe with Creamy Mushroom Gravy

Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe

I love biscuits and gravy! It’s probably my favorite breakfast–it’s certainly the dish I order most often when we go out for breakfast–but this buttermilk biscuit recipe and gravy are pretty easy to make at home, and biscuits can be used for any meal–not just for breakfast. I’m using mushrooms for this gravy recipe, but sausage can easily be substituted if you’re in a meaty mood. It’s an awesome gravy for a buttermilk biscuit, but it’s also pretty tasty on chicken fried steak or meatloaf.

Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe Ingredients:
4 cups ALL PURPOSE FLOUR
1 Tbsp BAKING POWDER
1 tsp BAKING SODA
1 tsp SALT
1 Tbsp SUGAR
1 cup BUTTER (diced, chilled)
1½ cups BUTTERMILK (chilled)
(plus buttermilk for brushing biscuit tops)

Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe
Easy Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe

Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe Directions:
In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar (optional). Mix ingredients together well. Add diced butter. For best results use chilled butter –keep the diced butter in the refrigerator until needed. Cut butter into the flour using a pastry cutter or knives. Butter should be cut into pea-sized bits, but there’s no reason to be militant about it…nice chunks of butter are nice. Once the butter is cut into the flour, add buttermilk. Keep the buttermilk chilled until you are ready to use it–cold butter and buttermilk are best for this recipe.

Pour the buttermilk into the bowl, and using a spatula (or your hand), roll the flour around the edge of the bowl until the buttermilk is absorbed and the dry flour begins sticking together. Roll until there is very little loose flour…add a drop more buttermilk if needed, but do so sparingly–you don’t want the flour to be “wet”.

On a lightly floured surface, empty the bowl and press the flour together, knead once or twice and then spread the dough out into a flat, ½ inch thickness. Do not knead or “handle” the dough too much.

Flour the edges of a biscuit cutter or drinking glass and cut out biscuits. I like my buttermilk biscuit about 2″-3″ across, but make whatever size you like. Giant biscuits can be fun :^) Cut the biscuits closely and get as many out of the first press as you can. Once all of the biscuits are cut from the first press, bring the dough together again and cut out remaining biscuits–again trying to handle the dough as little as possible.

Arrange the biscuits touching side by side on a lightly greased pan or on parchment paper. Lightly brush the tops of the biscuits with buttermilk or melted butter–this will help them to brown nicely. Place biscuits in the oven and bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 15 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown to your liking.

Biscuits with Gravy
Biscuits with Mushroom Gravy

Mushroom Gravy Recipe Ingredients:
oil/butter for sauteeing onion/mushrooms
½ cup chopped ONION
8 oz sliced MUSHROOMS
½ cup BUTTER
½ cup ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
2 cups MILK
about 2-3 tsp SALT (or to taste)
1 tsp BLACK PEPPER (or to taste)
½ tsp ground SAGE
2 tsp WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE
1 tsp HOT SAUCE
1 tsp dried THYME
….experiment with whatever seasonings you like

Mushroom Gravy Recipe Directions:
Heat 1-2 Tbsp oil in a skillet on medium high heat. Add onions and saute for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue sauteeing until browned. Stir in a little salt and pepper. Remove onions and mushrooms from skillet and set aside for later.

Return skillet to the heat and add ½ cup butter and melt. Once melted, add in a little of the ½ cup flour. Stir until smooth, and then continue to slowly add and stir the flour into the butter until the entire ½ cup of butter and ½ cup of flour have been incorporated –this is a roux, a traditional thickener for sauces.

Continue stirring the roux, slowly adding milk over several minutes until the the gravy is smooth and creamy. I use almond milk in this recipe, but most any kind of milk will work. Return the mushrooms and onion to the mix and continue stirring with the burner still on med to med-high heat. Add sage, thyme, worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and hot sauce –or anything else you’d like to try. Add more milk as needed to achieve the desired consistency. And that’s it.

If the gravy sits around for a bit, just heat and stir in more milk–you can do this the next day, too, if you have gravy leftover.

This gravy is great over a buttermilk biscuit, but it can also be used for many entrees, it’s especially good on country fried steak or meatloaf. If you’d rather have sausage gravy than mushroom gravy, just making exactly the same way, only subbing the sausage for mushrooms, and making sure to thoroughly drain the grease from the cooked sausage before adding it back into the skillet.

Give this Buttermilk Biscuit and Gravy recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for another awesome breakfast dish, try this fancy-pants omelet recipe.

How to make an omelette
omelet recipe

Cashew Coconut Energy Balls — power bars in a ball!

Cashew Coconut energy Balls

Cashew Coconut Lemon Bites! or Balls! A quick energy bar in a ball snack recipe! Very easy to make, and super flavorful –like a mini desert, but full of semi-healthy stuff that will put a little pep in your step without setting you up for a sugar crash.

Cashew Coconut Energy Balls Ingredients:

2 cups raw CASHEWS
1 cup pitted DATES
1 Tbsp COCONUT OIL
1 Tbsp MAPLE SYRUP
1 tsp VANILLA EXTRACT
¼ tsp SALT
½ cup SHREDDED COCONUT
juice and zest of 1 small LEMON

energy snack
power snack in a yummy treat!

Cashew Coconut Energy Balls Directions:

You’ll need a food processor for this recipe–in fact you can do the entire recipe in a food processor–but my proccesor is pretty small, so I just use it for chopping up the cashews and dates and do the rest of the mixing in another bowl.

Place the raw cashews in a food processor and chop for a few moments…cashews should be chopped fine. Add pitted dates and chop to same size.
Add coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt to the cashew/date mixture.
Zest one small lemon and mince the zest and add it to the mixture.
Slice the lemon and squeeze all of the juice into the mix.
Mix thoroughly.
Shape the mixture into ball shapes–whatever size you like for snacking!–grape size is best, I think.
Then roll the balls in shredded coconut to coat the outside.
And that’s it! –snack away!
Balls can be stored in the fridge until desired …in fact, they taste best right out of the fridge!

This super easy recipe makes a tasty treat and a great alternative to sugary candy bars and ice cream.

Give this Cashew Coconut Energy Balls recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for another tasty, sweet treat, try this semi-healthy and awesome BERRY COBBLER RECIPE

blackberry cobbler
blackberry cobbler

Guacamole Recipe …homemade guacamole is best!

easy guacamole recipe

The guacamole you make at home from fresh ingredients will always be superior to store-bought guacamole–and it’s such a quick and easy dish to prepare!–so why wouldn’t you?

Guacamole Recipe Ingredients:
3 AVOCADO (ripe, pitted and skinned and diced)
1-2 Tbsp LIME JUICE (or sub lemon juice)
¼ cup ONION (chopped)
2 ROMA TOMATO (chopped)
1 clove GARLIC (minced)
1-2 Tbsp CILANTRO (chopped)
½ tsp CUMIN (optional)
dash of CAYENNE or HOT SAUCE as desired
½ tsp SALT …adjust to taste

Guacamole Recipe Directions:
Choose ripe avocados!–an avocado is ripe if it’s soft (not too soft and not too firm–right in the middle) …a ripe avocado will give slightly when pressed. If it feels hard like a rock, then it’s not ripe…if it feels mushy, then it’s overripe. If the skin feels papery and dry (crackly)–then it’s too old. It’s not rocket science–just go through the avocados at the market and pick whichever one Goldilocks would pick.

Run a knife around the center of the avocado and pull it apart to reveal the pit. Remove the pit, cut the halves into quarters and peel away the skin. Dice the avocado and place in a bowl.
Quickly add the lime or lemon juice and toss well, coating the avocado–this will add a great flavor and more importantly keep the avocado from browning!

Add salt. If desired, add a little cumin, cayenne pepper, hot sauce for bite–but this is optional.

Mix the ingredients well and, with a fork, smash up the avocado–but not too much–the ideal guacamole is lumpy, not smooth.

Add chopped roma tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and garlic. Use fresh ingredients! –the key to a delicious guacamole is fresh ingredients.

Toss everything together and then cover and place the guacamole in the refrigerator until needed.

Give this guacamole recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

also…Guacamole is the perfect accompaniment for this Burrito Recipe

Cheesy baked burritos
Awesome Burrito Recipe

Omelette Recipe – how to make an Herb Omelet

How to make an omelette

This is how to make an omelette recipe the easy way…it’s simple and cheap, and throwing in a few chopped herbs makes it super delicious –a fancy-pants omelette! Do you spell it omelet or omelette ? it’s a perfect egg dish for breakfast, brunch or a lazy man’s dinner. I like to use tarragon, parsley, and chives, but sage and basil are great choices, too.

Omelette Recipe Ingredients:

2 EGGS
1 Tbsp PARSLEY (chopped)
1 tsp CHIVES (chopped)
½ tsp TARRAGON (chopped)
¼ cup HAVARTI CHEESE (shredded)
BUTTER enough to cover the bottom of the pan
SALT and PEPPER to taste
—the cheese and herb measurements are
just suggestions…follow your heart.

Omelette Recipe Directions:

In a skillet, heat butter on medium heat. Use enough butter to coat the bottom of the skillet. Medium is a good heat–not too hot, not too cold–enough to allow the eggs to cook and set without overcooking; an omelet should be soft, not crusty and overcooked–avoid too high a heat and browning the eggs!–that’s my preference of course, but give it a try. Don’t rush an omelet!–hell, it doesn’t take long anyway.

In a small bowl, crack two eggs. Add chopped herbs. I like to use tarragon, parsley, and chives, but sage and basil are great choices, too. Mix and match herbs and amounts and find your favorite combo. Adding fresh herbs to an omelet is great way to add flavor without adding complication to the omelet making process, which is especially nice if you’re making multiple omelets for hungry folks looking for breakfast.

Whisk the herbs and eggs together and pour into the skillet. Give the skillet a shake to spread the egg out.
And then leave it alone.
The eggs should cook gently.
Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.
Let the eggs set and cook around the edges until the eggs move easily in the pan–this will take 1-2 minutes depending on how hot your skillet is.

Once the omelet can be moved easily, flip or turn the eggs over gently with a spatula. Immediately turn off the heat, the pan will be hot enough to finish off the omelet.

Add a little shredded cheese to one side and fold the eggs in half over the cheese, making a half moon. I prefer havarti cheese, but any creamy, easily meltable cheese will be ideal.
And that’s it–a super easy and delicious omelet!

Give this omelette recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for another fancy pants breakfast dish, try this Baked Eggs Recipe.

Baked Eggs with Spinach and Tomato
Baked Eggs with Spinach and Tomato

Best Burrito Recipe – Family Style Baked Burritos!

Cheesy baked burritos

Try this family-style burrito recipe–it’s enough for a family or perfect for anyone who loves leftovers. We like to use roasted peppers in the filling, which is optional, but well worth the effort.

What You Need To Make The Best Burrito Recipe

TORTILLAS (about 7″ diameter)
2 cups SHREDDED CHEESE
¾ lb GROUND BEEF
1 can KIDNEY BEANS (15oz)
1 can REFRIED BEANS (15oz)
3 Lg ROASTED PEPPERS (chopped)
2 cups ONION (chopped)
4-5 cloves GARLIC (finely chopped)
1 Tbsp CHILI POWDER
2 Tbsp CUMIN
SALT and PEPPER (to taste)
OIL (for greasing pans)
1 cup SALSA for topping
and some HOT SAUCE (optional)

Is this the best burrito recipe ever? It sure looks like it!

best burrito recipe
World’s Best Family-Style Baked Burritos (seriously!)

How to Make A Family-Style Burrito Recipe

You don’t HAVE TO roast peppers for this recipe–but it’s tasty if you do.

We like to use 3 large peppers, get whatever kind you like–we usually use two poblano and one green bell pepper for a mix of flavors. Slice the peppers in half lengthwise and remove the ribs and seeds. Place the peppers cut side down on a greased pan and bake uncovered in the oven at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes. As the peppers roast, they will darken and begin to bubble.
After half an hour, remove the peppers from the oven and cover the pan while the peppers are still hot. Let the peppers steam in their own heat for 10-15 minutes–this will loosen the skin and make it easy to peel away. Once the skin is removed you’ll have roasted peppers! They’re a tasty ingredient for many dishes; since we’re using all three peppers for the burrito filling, dice them all and set aside.

Heat a large skillet on medium heat and brown the ground beef. As the beef begins to cook and release it’s fat, add the onion and garlic (if it’s too fatty, drain a little of the grease). Stir until the beef is lightly browned–no need to overcook, ’cause the beef will continue to cook in the oven.

Remove the skillet from the heat and add the kidney beans and re-fried beans. Add ¾ of the diced roasted peppers and reserve ¼ to use later as a topping.

Add the salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder–and if you want some heat, throw in a little hot sauce to taste.

Mix ingredients well, and that’s the burrito filling!

Grease a baking dish (about 10″ X 12″).

We use medium size tortillas, about 7″. Put as much filling as you think is appropriate–we like two heaping spoonfuls–top the filling with cheese and roll the burrito up and place in the baking dish; repeat until the baking dish is full.

If you have any filling remaining, spoon it thinly over the top of the burritos. Spoon hearty salsa over the top of the dish–chunky salsa!–not too wet. Sprinkle the top with the remaining roasted peppers and some shredded cheese (a mix of monterey jack and cheddar is best).

Bake uncovered in a 400 degree F oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the edges of the burritos begin to brown.

Turn the oven to broil and finish by toasting the top of dish for 3-5 minutes–be careful not to burn it!–keep an eye on the dish and remove it when it reaches toasty-cheesy perfection.

Spoon burritos onto a plate and serve with sides of sour cream, guacamole, and salsa. It pairs great with rice!

Give this burrito recipe a try and let me know what you think.

If you enjoyed the dish, hit some of the buttons below and share this slice of burrito heaven with friends and family. Thanks for watching, and bon appétit!

And for another tasty Mexican inspired recipe, why not try the best Nachos Grande Recipe in the world.

nachos supreme
World’s Best Nachos Recipe

Teriyaki Chicken Recipe — Tasty Japanese Style!

chicken teriyaki recipe

This Teriyaki Chicken recipe is easy to make, and the teriyaki sauce can be used in many kinds of dishes. This sauce is a semi-traditional Japanese variation using sake and mirin–it’s sweet, but not overly so–for a sweeter sauce, just add a little more brown sugar.

Teriyaki Chicken Ingredients:
1½ lb. CHICKEN (cut into pieces)
2 Tbsp OIL (for cooking chicken)
1 tsp HOT PEPPER (optional, finely chopped)
GREEN ONION TOPS (sliced for garnish)
2 Tbsp CORN STARCH
SALT and PEPPER (to taste)

Teriyaki Sauce:
¼ cup MIRIN
¼ cup SAKE
¼ cup SOY SAUCE (light sodium)
1 tsp GINGER (finely chopped)
1-2 Tbsp BROWN SUGAR

How to make a great teriyaki sauce.
Ingredients for a great teriyaki sauce.

Teriyaki Chicken Directions:
In a bowl, combine mirin, sake, and soy sauce. Add 1 tsp minced ginger and 1 or 2 Tbsp of Brown sugar, depending on how sweet you like your teriyaki sauce. Mix ingredients well and set aside.
I’m using boneless and skinless chicken thighs, but if you prefer chicken breasts, then use those. I like to cut my chicken up before cooking, that way it cooks quicker and gets more of an all around sear. I cut the chicken into about 1″ pieces. In a bowl, lightly season the chicken peices with salt and pepper. Add the corn starch and mix until the chicken is well coated.

In a skillet, heat oil on medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken. Let the chicken cook about 3 minutes and then turn the pieces and let them cook an additional 3 minutes…adjust this time depending on the size of the chicken; you want the chicken to be almost done, but not quite. If you like your dish to have a bit of spicy heat, add some finely chopped hot pepper to taste.

When the chicken is near completion, drain off any excess oils and chicken fat (there won’t be much if you’re using skinless chicken).

Raise the skillet temperature to high and add the teriyaki sauce.
The sauce will begin to bubble quickly. Allow it to cook on high for a couple of minutes to reduce the mirin and sake. After a couple of minutes, reduce the heat to med/low and continue cooking until the sauce is the consistency you like. If the sauce cooks too long and gets too thick, add a little water to thin it, and for a thicker sauce, mix 1 teaspoon cornstarch with water and add to skillet and stir until thickness desired.

And that’s it– chicken teriyaki! or is it teriyaki chicken? Does it really matter?
Serve the chicken teriyaki over rice and top with chopped green onion. For extra sauce, double the sauce ingredients–extra sauce is great on rice.
Give this Teriyaki Chicken recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for another awesome Asian dish, try this General Tso’s Chicken Recipe.

general tso chicken

Okra Curry Recipe – Spicy Indian Bhindi

okra curry recipe

This okra curry makes a great side dish or awesome entree when served over rice. Okra is a hearty, tasty, versatile vegetable which is relatively cheap and usually found in markets year round. I like to cook okra whole in the pod, but for spicier dishes, I like to cut up okra and saute it with tomato and onion. This Indian bhindi recipe is easy and delicious, so give it a try.

Okra Curry Ingredients:

1 lb. OKRA (cut)
4-5 ROMA TOMATOES (chopped)
½ ONION (sliced)
3 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
1 tsp FENNEL SEEDS
1 tsp CUMIN SEEDS
1 tsp HOT PEPPER (finely chopped)
5-7 cloves GARLIC (finely chopped)
2 Tbsp GINGER (finely chopped)
2 tsp CORIANDER
1 tsp TURMERIC
¼ CHILI PEPPER (or to taste)
SALT and PEPPER (to taste)

okra pods
Okra is a versatile vegetable and tasty whole or cut.

Okra Curry Directions:

Select okra pods 1″ to 2″ in length. Okra gets huge if left overlong on the plant, but big okra can be woody and tough, so bigger isn’t always better. Choose firm, green pods–okra will blacken around the edges as it gets older, so use within a few days.
Wash and dry okra thoroughly. Slice off the ends and cut into uniform sizes for even cooking.
Heat oil in a skillet on medium high.
Once oil is hot, add cumin and fennel seeds. The seeds will begin to crack after about 30 seconds. Add garlic and ginger and saute another 1-2 minutes. Add onion slices and continue cooking another 2-3 minutes. If you want a little more spice, also add some fresh chopped chili peppers.
Add in coriander, turmeric, and chili powder. Stir well for 1 minute and add tomato. I use 4 cut roma tomatoes, but use 1 can diced tomatoes if preferred. Add salt to taste.
Reduce heat to medium.
Let tomatoes cook about 5 minutes.
Add okra.
The acid in the tomato helps to cut down on the natural “gooeyness” of okra. Some folks call it slime, but it’s just the juices in the okra. The gooeyness will reduce the longer the okra is cooked, so cook uncovered another 5-10 minutes depending on how well you like your okra done.
I cook mine about 8 minutes.
Sometimes I finish off the dish with a little garam masala for a more “Indiany” flavor, but this time I didn’t. Garam masala adds a little sweetness.
Serve this okra curry on its own as a side dish or serve over rice as an entree. It makes a nice vegetarian meal with a salad.

Give this okra curry recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for another okra dish, try this southern-style Easy Okra Recipe.
tomato okra

Thanks for checking the recipe out. If you liked the dish, click a button or two below and share it with your friends. I appreciate it!
–Chef Buck

Pancake Recipe for Fancy-Pants Pancakes

pancakes!

Pancakes are easily made from scratch and can be transformed into a fancy pancake recipe by adding a few favorite fillings. Some of my favorite combos are cranberry / walnut, chocolate chip / pecan, and banana / walnut. Nuts are always a great addition –they makes a great bite!

Pancake Recipe Ingredients

(makes 5 good-size cakes or 8-10 sissy cakes):
1 EGG
3 Tbsp BUTTER
1¼ cup MILK
1½ cups ALL PURPOSE FLOUR
3½ tsp BAKING POWDER
1 Tbsp SUGAR
1 tsp SALT
CRANBERRIES
CHOCOLATE CHIPS
WALNUTS
PECANS

pancake recipe
Fancy Pancakes are yummier than regular pancakes, and better looking, too.

How to Make Pancakes

In a bowl, combine melted butter, milk, and egg. Stir until well blended. In another bowl, combine and mix flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, or the wet ingredients to the dry (who cares? it’s no big deal either way), and stir until smoothish…if there are a few lumps, it doesn’t matter.

Heat a lightly oiled skillet or griddle on medium to medium high heat. Pour or ladle batter onto the skillet. Try not to make the first pancake too big, since often the first cake is the least pretty–although it wil still taste pretty good. Add pancake toppings into the batter–as much or as little as you like–a lot of folks use blueberries, but I prefer cranberries, chocolate chips, or bananas with nuts. Nuts are a great addition to a pancake–makes for a much better bite.

It will only take a minute or two for the pancake to be ready to flip. Once air begins bubbling and opening tiny holes into the top of your cake, flip. It will only take half as much time for the other side to cook. Just peek under the cake and remove it when you’re happy. Serve with syrup and butter…and bacon is always a good idea, too.

Give this fancy-pants pancake recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And if you enjoy this fancy pancake recipe, then try this fancy-pants Salmon and Poached Eggs Recipe.
poached egg salmon spinach
Thanks for checking out the video and recipe. If you liked it, why not share it? All the cool kids are!
Thanks.
–Chef Buck

Baked Quinoa Recipe with Vegetables and Celery Root

Quinoa Vegetable Gratin

This baked quinoa recipe is tasty and versatile, and an terrific way to use celery root. I use zucchini and carrots in this video, but I’ve made the same dish using broccoli as the main veggie–so experiment with whatever you have on hand, just make sure to cut the veggies into smaller pieces to spread evenly.

Baked Quinoa Recipe Ingredients:
1 cup QUINOA
1 CELERY ROOT (thinly sliced)
1 cup CARROT (shredded)
1 cup ZUCHINNI (diced well)
1-2 tsp HOT PEPPER (finely chopped)
½ ONION (chopped)
3-4 cloves GARLIC (finely chopped)
1 cup BLUE CHEESE
2 Tbsp BUTTER
½ cup ALMOND MILK (or Half N Half)
2 Tbsp ITALIAN SEASONING
1 tsp MUSTARD SEEDS
½ cup BREAD CRUMBS
1-2 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
SALT and PEPPER (to taste)

Quinoa Vegetable Gratin Recipe
Quinoa Vegetable Gratin Recipe –top with fresh-chopped herbs!

Baked Quinoa Recipe Directions:
In a pot, heat olive oil on med. high heat. Add mustard seeds, garlic, and a little hot pepper, if desired.
Give these ingredients about a 30 second head start, and then add the onion. Stir and let cook for 2-3 minutes until onions begin to soften. Stir in salt.

Add quinoa and water and stir. Cover pot and allow the ingredients to come to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and allow the pot to cook for about 10 minutes.

Remove pot from the heat, if there is a little water left, that’s okay. Add Italian seasonings (or experiment with different seasonings!). Add in the zucchini and carrot (or experiment with different veggies!).
Stir in the milk and mix all ingredients together well.

Butter a deep 1.5 quart baking dish and spoon and evenly spread a layer of the quinoa/veggie mix along the bottom, about a ½” to 1″ thick. Top this layer with a single layer of thinly sliced celery root (celeriac). Add a sprinkling of cheese–as cheesey as you like it. I use blue cheese in the video, but try feta cheese and ricotta cheese, too (I’ve used all and any crumbly/melty white cheese is gonna work well with this dish). Add another layer of the quinoa mixture, and continue building the quinoa, celery root, cheese layers until the dish is almost full.
Make the top layer quinoa/veggie.

In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs w/ olive oil, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Mix, and spread over the top of the quinoa dish.
Cover with aluminium foil and bake for about 55 minutes in an oven pre-heated to 375 degrees F.

After 55 minutes, remove the foil and continue to cook another 5 minutes or until the bread crumb topping is golden brown.

The dish is finished when a knife can pass easily through the sliced celerey root layers.
Let rest for 5-10 minutes, and then serve.
Give this baked quinoa vegetable recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for another quinoa recipe idea, try this Bánh Mì Style Quinoa Salad.

Quinoa Salad -- Banh Mi Style
Quinoa Salad — Banh Mi Style

Home Fried Potatoes Recipe -Crispy Breakfast Side

home fried potatoes recipe

This crispy home fried potatoes recipe makes a tasty breakfast side. I use onion and hot pepper in this video/recipe, but a little added green bell pepper is nice, too.

Home Fried Potatoes Recipe Ingredients

1 large POTATO
2-3 Tbsp BACON FAT
1/3 cup ONION (finely chopped)
¼ cup GREEN BELL PEPPER (finely chopped, optional)
HOT PEPPER (to taste, finely chopped)
1 tsp SMOKED PAPRIKA
SALT and PEPPER to taste

How to Make Home Fried Potatoes

In a skillet, fry up 4-5 pieces of fatty bacon, this will give you enough grease to cook up your potatoes.
Peel your potato, which is something I hate to say, ’cause potato skin is so delicious, but the breakfast home fries I grew up with were peeled, so that’s how I gotta roll.

Dice your potato into dinky cubes; they don’t have to be exactly the same same, but mostly they do, so cut them as uniformly as possible.
Add your diced potato to the skillet of hot grease–and by hot, I mean that your potatoes start to sizzle and cook when they hit the pan–but not overly hot, ’cause it will take 20-25 minutes to cook these potatoes up just right. Medium-low heat is a good temp, keep the potatoes sizzling, they need to crisp on the outside, but they also need to cook through on the inside, otherwise you’ll end up with a bunch of crispy, raw potato; so go slow, amigo.
Mix your potatoes with the grease and spread them out in the skillet and let them brown for about 5 minutes.

Add finely chopped onion and hot peppers; if desired, also add a little finely chopped green bell pepper for taste and color…I usually do, but if I don’t have it on hand, it’s not the end of the world–it’s just breakfast, man.
Mix the ingredients well and spread out in the skillet and let cook another 5 minutes.

Add paprika, stir and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are cooked through and done to the desired crispness.
The key is to not cook the potatoes too fast.

Give this home fried potatoes recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for a fancy pants breakfast dish, try this Baked Eggs Recipe.

baked eggs
Baked eggs are an easy way to impress folks for breakfast.

Thanks for checking this home fried potatoes recipe, if you liked it, then click a button or two below and share it with friends. I appreciate it!
–Chef Buck

Spinach Salad Recipe -Pear, Blue Cheese, and Walnuts with Raspberry Dressing

Best Spinach Salad

The easiest, best spinach salad recipe in the world. We first had one of these spinach, pear, blue cheese, walnut, raspberry dressing salads years ago at a little tapas place in Key West, and we’ve been making them ever since–especially if we have a pear on the edge–the riper, softer, and juicier the pear, the better the salad is gonna taste.

Spinach Salad Recipe:
SPINACH
1 PEAR (ripe, diced)
WALNUTS (toasted)
BLUE CHEESE (crumbled)
dressing:
2 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
1 Tbsp RASBERRY JAM
1 Tbsp VINEGAR
½ tsp ITALIAN SEASONING
SALT and PEPPER to taste

Directions:
Crumble and spread your walnut pieces on a baking sheet and toast at 300 degrees F for 5-10 minutes until the nuts are toasted to your liking. Keep an eye on them–nuts are easy to over-toast and it’s usually worth setting a timer so they’re not forgotten.
While your nuts toast, throw together your salad dressing–basically and oil and vinegar dressing with a little jam added for flavor.

I make this dressing with all kinds of jams, but raspberry and strawberry are my favorites–although definitely give raspberry a try with this recipe. Combine your oil, vinegar, jam, salt, and Italian seasonings. Mix well. Taste and adjust as needed to your liking. A little sugar can be added if desired, but I usually find that the jam adds plenty of sweetness, plus the pear will add sweetness to the salad as well.

Toss the dressing with your spinach leaves until all are well-coated. Divide spinach into serving bowls. Chop pear into nice chunks and add to salad. An overly-ripe pear works best. Sprinkle the toasted walnuts over the salad, then sprinkle with blue cheese crumbles. Lots of blue cheese. Or less. I like blue cheese. There are no ratios with this salad.4

And that’s it. This is the best spinach salad in the world. So it is written, so it shall be done.
Give this Spinach Salad recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

For more salad ideas, take a look at Kale.

avocado kale w/ chickpeas
raw avocado kale salad

Broccoli Recipe – Best Blue Cheese Broccoli

Broccoli with Blue Cheese

Try this super-quick and awesome broccoli recipe. If you like blue cheese then you’ll love this dish, in fact, you’ll actually love broccoli if you only just liked it before …I know, kinda confusing, but trust me, this is a pretty damn tasty broccoli dish–and healthy, too. So make it.

Bad-ass Blue Cheese Broccoli Recipe Ingredients:
5 cups BROCCOLI FLORETS
¼ cup CARROT strings
2-3 oz BLUE CHEESE crumbled
¼ cup SUNFLOWER SEEDS (shelled and toasted)
SALT and PEPPER to taste

Broccoli with Blue Cheese
Broccoli with Blue Cheese Recipe

directions:
Toast the sunflower seeds (already shelled). This can be done quite quickly in a hot pan or skillet. Heat pan or skillet on medium/med-low heat; not too hot or seeds will burn. Add sunflower seeds and spread them into a single layer. Do not use any oil or spray in the pan. Stir the seeds in the skillet for a couple of minutes until they begin to brown, lightly browned is perfect; they’re easy to over-toast, so don’t leave them too long. It will only take 2 minutes on medium heat.
Remove seeds from heat and set aside.

Cover the bottom of a pot with about ¼ inch of water, just enough for steaming the broccoli and carrots. Add The broccoli florets to the pot and top with the carrot strings. Raise the heat, cover the pot, and allow the veggies to steam for approx. 5 minutes; ideally the florets will be cooked through, soft but not soggy!

Turn off the heat and drain any remaining water in the sink. Add salt, pepper, the toasted sunflower seeds, and 2-3 ounces of crumbled blue cheese.
Lightly toss ingredients together and serve while hot.
This dish is super-simple and amazingly delicious –as long as you like blue cheese.
Give this broccoli recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for another great veggie dish, try this tasty Beet Greens Recipe.
beet greens saute

Meatloaf Recipe – Le Petit Meatloafs De Foo Foo

mini meatloaf

A delicious meatloaf recipe for folks who feel threatened by large bricks of meat. These mini meatloaf balls are super moist and flavorful and cook up quickly.

Meatloaf Recipe Ingredients:
1½ lbs. lean ground BEEF
½ RED BELL PEPPER
1 sm ONION (or ½ a lg one)
4 cloves GARLIC
1 Tbsp CHILI POWDER
½ cup OATS
1 CARROT
1 EGG
2 tsp ITALIAN SEASONING
SALT and PEPPER to taste
1 Tbsp WOOSTERSHISTERSHIRE SAUCE

Meatloaf Topping:
topping sauce:
1/3 cup KETCHUP
2 tsp MUSTARD
1 Tbsp CHILI POWDER
1 tsp CHILI PASTE or hot sauce to taste
1 Tbsp WOOSTERSHISTERSHIRE SAUCE

mini meatloaf recipe
Mini meatloaf make moist meatballs…mmmmm

directions:
Blend oats in food processor until finely chopped. In the processor also finely chop the red pepper, onion, carrot, and garlic. In a large bowl, combine processed oats and veggies. Add seasonings, Worcestershire sauce and egg. Mix well. Does it smell awesome? Add additional seasoning if desired. Add the ground beef and use your hands to combine. Do not overmix the ingredients, overmixing can make the meatloaf dense and heavy.

Lightly roll the meat mixture into 12 balls with your hands. (Dividing mixture into 4 parts makes the distribution a little more even.) Place rolled loaves in a lightly greased baking dish.

In a small bowl, combine all of the sauce ingredients. I use chili paste to add a little heat, but use hot sauce or whatever you like–or nothing at all if you don’t want the dish too spicy hot. Stir until smooth and spoon over top each dinky meatloaf.

Bake, uncovered, at 450 degrees F for 15-18 minutes. If desired, finish under the broiler to get a bit of brown/burnt on top.
And that’s it!

Give this meatloaf recipe a go and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for another tasty beef recipe, try this Country Fried Steak Recipe.

Country Fried Steak recipe
Country Fried Steak with Gravy

Quinoa Salad Recipe – Vietnamese Bánh Mì Style

Quinoa Salad -- Banh Mi Style

A quinoa salad recipe inspired by the tasty flavor combinations found in a Vietnamese bánh mì sandwich. Quinoa provides a complete protein, making this dish an ideal vegetarian recipe.

Quinoa Salad Recipe Ingredients:
1 cup QUINOA (uncooked)
2 cups DAIKON/CARROT RELISH (chopped)
2-3 JALAPENOS (finely chopped)
2 cups SALAD CUCUMBER (diced)
1 cup chopped CILANTRO
3 Tbsp MAYONNAISE
1 small LEMON (zest and juice)
2 Tbsp rice VINEGAR
SALT and PEPPER to taste
SALAD GREENS (I use a combo of Spinach and Red Leaf Lettuce, but use your favorite)

uncooked quinoa
uncooked quinoa

directions:
Cook up the quinoa just like rice: 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Fluff the quinoa and then set aside uncovered to cool.

Prepare the veggies: Dice 1 large salad cucumber, also called an English cucumber; these are great in a salad because the skin is thin and quite enjoyable to eat, and also adds a nice texture. Finely chop 2-3 whole jalapeno peppers, seeds and all. Chop 1 bunch of cilantro, including the stems. Chop 2 cups of pickled daikon and carrot.

Prepare the dressing: Remove and mince the zest from 1 small lemon and place in a small bowl. Add the juice from the lemon, rice vinegar, mayonnaise, and salt and pepper. Mix well until the dressing is smooth.

In a large bowl, place the cooled quinoa. Add ½ of the dressing, the jalapenos, cilantro, and daikon/carrot, and mix well. Add the diced cucumbers and toss. Add salt and pepper, and more dressing as desired. I also add a bit of the pickling solution from the daikon/carrot pickle.
Serve the quinoa salad over a bed of leafy greens and garnish with cilantro.

Give this banh mi inspired quinoa salad recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for another tasty quinoa dish, try this Spanish-Style Quinoa Recipe.
spanish quinoa

Pickled Daikon and Carrot Relish –Vietnamese Style

Vietnamese Pickled Daikon and Carrot Relish

Vietnamese-style pickled daikon and carrot make a handy relish than can be used with salads, sandwiches, and all kinds of recipes. It’s a must have for making a banh mi sandiwich and I use it quite often as a salad topper and also dice it up to add to tuna, chicken, and quinoa salads. Keep a jar of pickled daikon and carrot in your fridge and experiment adding it to some of your favorite dishes.

Pickled Daikon and Carrot Ingredients:
2 cups cut DAIKON
2 Cups Cut CARROT
1-2 tsp SALT
¼ SUGAR
½ cup WATER (hot from tap)
½ cup VINEGAR

pickled daikon
Pickled daikon and carrot is a tasty and versatile relish to have in the fridge–awesome on sandwiches and salads.

directions:
Daikon is a BIG radish. When buying, choose one that is firm–if the daikon has green tops attached, choose one without wilted leaves, but often the tops are not attached. The skin is thin and can be peeled off with a simple vegetable peeler. The same is true for carrots, although I generally leave the skin on the carrots, but follow your heart. Slice and cut the daikon and carrot into matchstick sizes and place into a bowl. Add salt to the bowl and mix well with the daikon and carrot so that the veggies are coated. This will draw water out of the vegetables and soften them. Set bowl aside.
In a smaller bowl, prepare the pickling solution. Combine warm tap water and sugar. Stir until dissolved and then add the vinegar. And that’s it!
In the larger bowl, the salt will have started drawing moisture from the daikon and carrot matchsticks. When they have softened enough, cram them into a storage container and add the pickling solution.
This pickled combo will keep in your fridge for 2-3 weeks. It’s a must have topping for Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches and works well in all kinds of sandwiches. Use this relish as a topping for salads or chop it up to incorporate in whatever dish you desire (it’s great in a coleslaw or quinoa salad).
Give this pickled daikon and carrot relish a try and let me know what you think, and bon appetit!

And if you wanna see this relish in action, check out this deconstruction of a Banh Mi Sandwich.
bahn mi

Country Fried Steak w/ Gravy -Easy Cube Steak Recipe

Country Fried Steak recipe

Country Fried Steak is easy to prepare and a great way to cook up a cheap piece of meat–and it tastes fantastico, too. This country fried, or chicken fried, recipe uses cube steak, which refers to a cut of meat that has been hammered or run through a tenderizer meat contraption–often it’s a round or top sirloin cut of meat.

Country Fried Steak Ingredients

2 4oz cuts CUBE STEAK
¾ cup all-purpose FLOUR (use enough to coat steaks and extra for making gravy)
1 EGG (one for every two cuts of meat)
COOKING OIL (enough to cover half the steak in the pan)
1½ cups MILK (add as needed for desired gravy consistency)
SALT and PEPPER to taste

country fried steak
Cube steak is a hammered and tenderized cut of round or top sirloin steak

How to Make Country fried Steak

Bread the cube steak. For 2 cuts of meat, place approx. ¾ cup all-purpose flour in a shallow dish–this is more flour than you’ll need for the breading, but you’ll use whatever is leftover for making the gravy. Season the flour simply with salt and pepper. In another shallow dish, beat 1 egg. Lay each side of the steak in the flour, breading each side, then lay the floured steak in the egg dish on each side to coat the steak in egg, then return the steak to the flour dish and re-coat each side in flour again; once fried, this double flouring will create a thick, decadent breading.

Heat oil in a skillet on med-high. Make sure the oil is HOT before adding the steaks! Carefully lay the steaks in the pan. The breaded cuts should begin bubbling and cooking straight away. Because cube steak is pounded and thin, it takes very little time to cook–approx 2-3 minutes each side. Once the breading has fried and turned golden, carefully turn the steaks. Be careful of the hot grease. Once both sides are crisp and golden, remove steak from the oil and place on a paper towel to drain.

Pour off excess grease from the pan so that only enough remains to make the gravy–this might be a couple of tablespoons or a ¼ cup, depending on how much gravy you wish to make. If there are bits and pieces left in the skillet from the frying steak, that’s great–it will make the gravy even more delicious. Into the skillet, add about as much flour as there is grease. You can just eyeball it, it isn’t rocket science. Stir the flour and grease together for about a minute. The flour will absorb the grease and thicken. Slowly pour in milk, constantly stirring. Add the milk incrementally. Over the course of a few minutes, the gravy will smooth and thicken. Add milk until the gravy is the consistency you desire. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed (it will probably be needed).

And that’s it. Pour the gravy over the steaks or serve on the side. And if you don’t want gravy, then skip the whole gravy part of this recipe entirely–the country fried steak (also called chicken fried steak) tastes great with or without gravy–in fact, they’re fantastic in a sandwich–which is a great way to use a leftover country fried steak.
Give this country fried steak recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for a not-fried chicken, try this awesome Chicken Bake Recipe.

baked curry chicken
try it!…it’s just as tasty as fried chicken

 
Thanks for checking out the videos. If you enjoyed the recipes, click a button or two below and share it with your friends. Thanks, I appreciate it!
–Buck

Kung Pao Chicken Recipe — Just Like Take-out!

Easy Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

Kung Pao Chicken tastes great and cooks up super quick, so next time you feel like ordering Chinese take-out, try cooking this Chinese favorite at home instead.

Kung Pao Chicken Ingredients:
1 lbs CHICKEN (boneless/skinless)
1 med-sized ZUCCHINI
1 stalk CELERY
½ RED BELL PEPPER
4-5 GREEN ONIONS
3-4 GARLIC minced
2 tsp GINGER minced
RED PEPPER FLAKES (to taste)
1 Tbsp SESAME OIL
1 Tbsp CORN STARCH
1 Tbsp SOY SAUCE
¾ cup PEANUTS
3 Tbsp OIL for skillet
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
Sauce Ingredients:
3 Tbsp SOY SAUCE
2 Tbsp RICE VINEGAR
2 tsp SESAME OIL
2 TBSP HOISIN SAUCE
(or sub brown sugar)
1 Tbsp CHILI PASTE
1 Tbsp CORN STARCH
½ cup WATER

Kung Pao Chicken with rice.
Serve Kung Pao Chicken with rice.

directions:
Cut 1 lb. of boneless, skinless chicken into ½”-1″ pieces and place in a bowl. Season meat with salt and pepper to taste, then add 1 Tbsp soy sauce and 1 Tbsp cornstarch. Toss chicken with ingredients until the chicken pieces are coated, then set aside in the fridge.
In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients listed above for the sauce. Stir until all ingredients are mixed well, and then set aside.
On med. high heat, In a large skillet, heat 3 Tbsp of oil (peanut or canola, or a mix of oil with sesame oil). Add red pepper flakes (or fresh chopped hot peppers), minced garlic, and minced ginger, and stir for a few moments while the garlic colors. Add the coated chicken. Stir and allow the chicken to cook quickly. Brown all sides and cook until chicken is nearly done.
Add chopped bottoms from green onions, diced red pepper (red or orange bell peppers look very nice with this dish), chopped celery, and diced zucchini. Stir with chicken for 2 minutes and then add sauce. Keeping the skillet on med. high, the sauce will bubble and thicken quickly; stir 1-2 minutes and then add peanuts. Stir 1 more minute, then mix in green onion tops. Remove from heat and serve over rice.
And that’s it–an Americanized version of a classic Chinese Kung Pao Chicken Recipe. Give this dish a try and let me know what you think…and bon appétit!

And for another Chinese favorite, try this super-duper General Tso’s Chicken Recipe.
general tso chicken

Stewed Prunes w/ Orange and Ginger

stewed prunes recipe

Stewed prunes are a tasty breakfast side or snack –even a passable dessert, if you don’t have a clear understanding of what a dessert is. Orange and ginger make this stewed prune recipe naturally sweet and flavorful.

Stewed Prune Ingredients:
2 cups pitted PRUNES
1 Tbsp ORANGE ZEST (minced)
juice from 1 large ORANGE
1-2 tsp minced fresh GINGER

prunes stewed with orange
prunes stewed with orange and ginger

directions:
Zest 1 large orange. Use approx. 1 tbsp of minced zest for this recipe. Juice the orange.
In a small saucepan on medium heat, add the prunes and orange juice. Add just enough water to cover the tops of the prunes (don’t use too much water). Stir in the orange zest and minced ginger. Some folks like to add a little brown sugar or maple syrup for added sweetness, but I don’t think it’s needed; prunes are sweet enough and the orange juice will add plenty of natural sugar (I’d only add extra sugars if I were using the prunes for a dessert application). Cover and allow saucepan come to a bubble. Reduce heat to low, and simmer gently for 25-30 minutes. The liquid will cook down and the prunes will plump up.
And that’s it. Eat them plain or serve them with yogurt or cereals. They make a great breakfast side. Some people like to treat them like a dessert–even serving them with ice cream–which isn’t my style, but whatever floats your boat.
Stewed prunes make a tasty treat and are a great source of fiber and nutrition.
Prunes can be stewed up with all manner flavors. Some popular additions to stewed prunes are cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, brown sugar, and maple syrup.
Pitted prunes make a great snack all on their own, and stewing them up makes them a little more versatile. Give this stewed prunes recipe a try and let me know what you think…and bon appétit!

Prune Fun Facts:
Prunes are high in fiber and a natural laxative.
The word “laxative” is not very appetizing.
Ounce for ounce, prunes contain more potassium than bananas.
Prunes are fat free.
Prunes can reverse bone loss and preserve bone structure, reducing the risk of brittle bone fracture.

Serve stewed prunes as a side for this fancy-pants Poached Egg w/ Spinach & Smoked Salmon Breakfast.
poached egg salmon spinach

pitted prunes
prunes are dried plums

Kale Hash Recipe – Healthy Stamppot Boerenkool

kale and potato hash

This kale hash recipe is a hearty and healthy way to get a tasty kale dish on the table for dinner.

Kale Hash Ingredients:
1½ bunches KALE
3 lbs POTATOES
1 lb SMOKED SAUSAGE (sliced)
1 bunch GREEN ONIONS (chopped)
2-3 cloves GARLIC (finely chopped)
2 Tbsp BUTTER
½ cup MILK
1 tsp CELERY SEEDS
1 BAY LEAF
SALT and PEPPER to taste

Ingredients for boerenkool
Use lots of kale! –And red potatoes work great for this dish.

directions:
Clean your potatoes and get them cooking. I like to use red potatoes since it’s a nice contrast with the kale, and the skin is thin and tasty (but if you’re not a fan of potato skin, you can peel them). In a large pot, cover the potatoes with cool tap water (about an inch over the potatoes). Add salt and a bay leaf and bring potatoes to a boil until they are cooked through–cooking time will vary depending on the size of the potatoes–the potatoes I used in the video took approx. 25 minutes to cook; potatoes are cooked through once you can pierce them easily with a fork and the
potato slides off. While the potatoes cook, wash and cut the kale. Remove the kale stems and cut or tear the leaves into bite-size pieces. For three pounds of potatoes, use 1 to 2 bunches of kale; the kale will cook down quite a bit, so don’t be shy with it–ideally, you want an even kale/potato ratio.
Heat a large skillet on med. high heat and add the sausage (or for a vegetarian dish–just leave the sausage out…isn’t that genius?) . Saute for a a few minutes until the sausage begins to color. Add finely chopped garlic and chopped green onion bottoms. Mix with sausage and continue cooking 2 minutes. Add kale to the skillet. This will be a lot of kale, so don’t bother mixing the kale in at this point–just add ½ cup water and cover and allow the kale greens to wilt for 2 minutes. Once the kale has began reducing and softening, add salt to taste and then mix with sausage, garlic, and onion. Add a little more water if needed, but be conservative, as the kale will continue to release water of it’s own. Cover and continue steaming 3-5 minutes, or until it is cooked to your taste.
When the potatoes are cooked through, drain off the hot water (reserve a small amount). Remove the bay leaf and mash the potatoes. Add butter, celery seeds, milk (optional–you can use the reserved hot potato water instead, or a mixture of the two), and add salt and black pepper to taste. Mash the potatoes as smooth or chunky as desired and then add the kale/sausage mix. Add the green onion tops. Combine well…and that’s it, dinner is ready! We served this dish with a side of mustard and it was fantastico.
Give this kale hash recipe a try and let me know what you think…and bon appétit!

And for another hot kale entree, try this Ginger and Kale Stir-fry Recipe.
sauted ginger kale

Kale Salad – Tips for Using Raw Kale Greens

fresh kale

Why eat raw kale salad? Kale is a so-called SUPERfood chock full of big-time nutrition and very fashionable in salad circles, so if you wanna be one of the cool kids, ya gotta eat it. If the Popeye franchise is ever re-booted, I’m sure our vegetable-friendly sailor will be shunning spinach and downing kale by the bunches–not that there’s anything wrong with spinach, but at the moment the kale lobby is a juggernaut.
Check out this video for tips on making a raw kale salad:

Kale Nutrition and Fun Facts:
Kale belongs to the same family as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and collards.
Kale is packed with antioxidants, which help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body.
One cup of chopped raw kale provides more than 100% of the daily value of vitamins A, C, and K.
In fact, Kale has more vitamin C than an orange.
Free Radicals are a thing scientists made up to sound smart.
Baked kale becomes crispy and can be substituted for potato chips.
Kale freezes well for future use.
Kale is a great addition to a soup.
Kale is believed to promote cell repair and may block the growth of cancer cells.

Wow…doesn’t that sound terrific? Who could pass up on that! Too bad kale doesn’t taste like a slice of coconut cream pie, but you can’t have everything. It is a tasty addition to a salad, though–and utilizing raw kale will insure the greatest health benefit from this leafy superfood.

raw kale salad with avocado and tomato
raw kale salad with avocado and tomato
artichoke and kale salad
Raw kale salad with olives, artichoke, red leaf lettuce, and a carrot/daikon slaw.

And check out this video recipe for Kale and Beet Super Salad.
kale beet salad

Chicken Curry Recipe — a classic Indian-style dish

Indian-style chicken curry recipe

Chicken curry is delicious and easy to make. I throw a little yogurt in for a tad creaminess, but that’s optional, and it’ll be tasty either way. Chicken Curry is one of the most popular dishes in the world, and for good reason.

Chicken Curry Ingredients:
2 lbs CHICKEN (boneless/skinned)
2 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
1 tsp BUTTER
1 lg ONION (chopped)
4-5 cloves GARLIC (finely chopped)
1 HOT PEPPER (finely chopped)
1 tsp TURMERIC
1 tsp CHILI POWDER
1 Tbsp CORIANDER
1 Tbsp CUMIN (plus seasoning for chicken)
1 Tbsp GARAM MASALA
1 28oz can CRUSHED TOMATO
¼ cup YOGURT
½ cup CILANTRO (chopped)
SALT and PEPPER to taste
(plus a little SALT, CORIANDER, CUMIN, and CHILI POWDER to season the chicken before cooking)

directions:
Use 2 lbs of skinless, boneless chicken. You can use dark or light meat as you prefer. For this recipe, I like to cut the meat into approx. 1″ pieces and then season generously with salt, cumin, coriander, and chili powder.
Heat oil in a skillet on med. high heat and add seasoned chicken pieces. Sear chicken 5-7 minutes, turning once, and then remove chicken to a plate. Pour off excess fluid in the skillet and add butter. Add finely chopped garlic and hot pepper. Saute for 30 seconds and then add onion. Continue cooking for a couple of minutes. When onions begin to soften, add turmeric, chili powder, coriander, and cumin. Mix well and continue cooking 2 minutes. Stir in crushed tomato. Add salt and a little water, if needed (but not too much water at one time–you don’t want the dish to be too wet). Allow the sauce to come to a bubble, reduce the heat, cover and let simmer for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, return chicken to the skillet. Mix in Garam Masala, which is a blend of flavors (clove, cinnamon, cardamon, cumin, etc.). You can also spoon in a little plain yogurt, if you like–if I have some yogurt on hand I add it, and if I don’t, I don’t–it’s tasty either way (but yogurt adds a nice touch of creaminess). Add Fresh chopped cilantro and stir well.
And that’s it.
Serve the curry over rice with a little flat bread and you’ve got a delicious Indian-style entree. Give this chicken curry recipe a try and let me know what you think…and bon appétit!

chicken curry in cooking skillet
chicken curry in skillet

For a super-duper creamy curry, try this Chicken Tika Masala.

chicken tikka masala

Cook Chinese Eggplant Recipe with General Tso’s Sauce

Chinese Eggplant Recipe with Sweet Sauce

Cook Chinese Eggplant for a terrific vegetarian meal that will not having you missing the meat. For this Chinese eggplant dish, I use a sauce similar to one I use making General Tso’s Chicken, so it’s a rich and filling eggplant dish, hearty and vegetarian at the same time.

ingredients to cook Chinese Eggplant Recipe

1½ lbs CHINESE EGGPLANT
4-6 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
3 cloves GARLIC (finely chopped)
1-2 RED CHILIES (thinly sliced)
½ cup whole CASHEW NUTS
1 bunch GREEN ONIONS
1 Tbsp SESAME OIL
sauce ingredients:
1/3 cup SOY SAUCE
2 Tbsp HOISIN SAUCE
1 tsp SESAME OIL
2 Tbsp RICE VINEGAR
2-3 Tbsp BROWN SUGAR
1 Tbsp GINGER (minced)
2 Tbsp CORN STARCH
1½ cups WATER

cook Chinese Eggplant
Chinese Eggplant with Cashew Nuts and Sweet Sauce

how to cook Chinese Eggplant Recipe with General Tso’s Sauce

In a small bowl, combine all of the sauce ingredients. The fresh minced ginger is optional, but if you love ginger, why not? I also use 2 heaping Tbsp of brown sugar, but you can use more or less sugar depending on how much sweet you like–but the sweet is good with this recipe. Mix the sauce ingredients well and then set aside.
Cut your Chinese eggplant. You should buy firm eggplant with glossy, unblemished skins. Cut into pieces approx. 2″ long and ½” wide.
In a skillet or wok, heat olive oil on med. high heat. When the oil is hot, add eggplant. Saute eggplant 5-7 minutes. The eggplant will soak up the oil, so add more oil as needed or desired. Saute until the eggplant colors and begins to soften and then remove eggplant from the skillet. In the same hot skillet, add sesame oil and heat. Add garlic, hot pepper, and cashew nuts (or sub peanuts). Saute for 1 minute or until garlic colors. Add sauce and green onion bottoms. Stir sauce slowly. Because of the added corn starch, the sauce will quickly heat through, darken, and thicken. When the sauce has thicken to a a gravy/syrup consistency, return the eggplant to the skillet. Mix well, then cover the skillet and allow to simmer until the eggplant has finished cooking, 3-5 minutes depending on the size of the eggplant pieces. Stir in green onion tops. Fresh chopped cilantro also adds an excellent taste and garnish.
And that’s a very tasty way to cook Chinese eggplant.
Serve with rice, or without rice…and enjoy.
And for a tasty General Tso’s Chicken Recipe, click the pic below.

general tso chicken
click pic for recipe

Thanks for checking the recipe out. If you liked it, click a few buttons below and share it with your friends, I appreciate it.
–Chef Buck

Chorizo Recipe — Cazuela de Chorizo!

Sausage and Potato Stew

This spicy chorizo sausage recipe is a Spanish inspired sausage and potato stew that is super-flavorful and delicious–and hearty, too.

ingredients:
1 lb CHORIZO LINKS
3-4 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
1 lg ONION (chopped well)
4-5 cloves GARLIC (thinly sliced)
3 ROMA TOMATOES (diced)
3 lg POTATOES (cut into approx 1″ pieces)
14 oz can BROTH (add water as needed)
1 BAY LEAF
1 tsp SMOKED PAPRIKA
1 Tbsp CHILI POWDER
¼ tsp CAYENNE PEPPER
½ tsp ground THYME
SALT and PEPPER to taste

Heat olive oil on med. high heat in a deep skillet or wide-bottom pot. Add onion and garlic and saute. As the onion begins to soften, add bay leaf, salt, chili powder, cayene pepper, and paprika. Stir well and continue sauteing ingredients for 4-5 minutes. Add chorizo sausage–use UNCOOKED chorizo links; slice the links in the casing, about ½ inch wide pieces. Cook the sausage with the onions for 5 minutes and then add tomato (3 diced roma tomatoes or 14oz can diced tomatoes). Mix tomato with onion and then add potato. I like to leave the skin on the potato mainly because it tastes GOOD. And then you don’t have to peel the potatoes either, which is good, too. The potato should be cut up into good sizes, about 1″ pieces, so that you’ll have some good chunks of potato after the dish stews. Cover the skillet and bring the dish up to a bubble. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add dried thyme. Cover, and let simmer for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through–stirring occasionally as needed. And that’s it. Give it a taste and add a little more salt and seasoning as desired. Garnish this chorizo recipe with fresh chopped parsley, cilantro, or green onion…and enjoy!

Spicy Chorizo Sausage Stew
Spicy Chorizo Sausage Stew
Chorizo Sausage Links
Fresh Chorizo Sausage Links

For another great stew idea, check out this rib-sticking Beef Stew Recipe.
beef stew

Blackberry Cobbler Recipe with an Oatmeal Twist

blackberry cobbler

You can make this blackberry cobbler recipe using any kind of berries or fruit. CG loves to use oatmeal when she can, which pairs well with the flour to make the batter for this dessert.

BERRY COBBLER Recipe
ingredients:
2 cups BERRIES (any kind)
1 Tbsp CORN STARCH
1 cup QUICK OATS
½ cup ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
1½ tsp BAKING POWDER
1 tsp CINNAMON (optional)
½ cup SUGAR (use partial brown sugar if desired)
¼ cup BUTTER
1 lg EGG
½ tsp VANILLA EXTRACT
¼ cup MILK

Use any berries you like for this cobbler dessert–it’s a cobbler, but with a little twist on the batter–we’re pairing Quick-cook Oatmeal along with the flour. This recipe doesn’t make a huge amount, but it’s perfect for about 4 human-sized portions–just double the recipe for a bigger dessert. We’re using blackberries because we’ve got fresh ones.
To start, put your berries in a bowl and add 2-4 Tbsp of sugar–if desired–if your berries are already sweet enough, don’t bother with the added sugar. Add corn starch and toss with the berries and set aside.
In a second bowl, combine your Quick Oats, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and sugar. Mix Thoroughly, then cut butter into the mix. Stir until the butter is integrated into the mix, then add 1 beaten egg, vanilla extract, and milk. We’re using almond milk, but use whatever kind of milk you like. Stir ingredients together.
Grease an 8×8 oven friendly dish (we’re using an 8″ deep dish pie tin with a little butter spray). Spread the berry mixture evenly on the bottom of the dish, and then top the berries with spoonfuls of the batter. Don’t worry about spreading the batter neatly, spoon it evenly around the top and it will spread evenly in the oven. Place the dish in an oven pre-heated to 350 degrees F and let bake for about 30 minutes until the topping is a golden brown. If your cooking dish is particularly small, place it on a baking sheet or tinfoil to catch any drippings.
Let the cobbler cool for 10-15 minutes and then serve with ice cream (or without ice cream, but that would be crazy).

blackberry cobbler recipe
This blackberry cobbler recipe works great in an 8″ deep dish pie tin.

For another great dessert, try this delicious but deadly Scone Recipe.

maple pecan scones

Creamy Shrimp Curry Recipe –quick and easy with a yogurt sauce

creamy shrimp curry

Try this quick, creamy shrimp curry recipe for a change of taste. It’s super fast to prepare and kinda/sorta healthy–I usually serve this shrimp curry with rice and top with fresh chopped cilantro. Don’t be shy adding hot peppers, since the yogurt sauce and rice will absorb a lot of any heat added.

SHRIMP CURRY RECIPE
ingredients:
1 to 1½ lbs SHRIMP (peeled/deveined)
2-3 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
2 tsp MUSTARD SEEDS
2 chili peppers (chopped, or sub red pepper flakes)
1 cup plain Greek YOGURT
¼ tsp ground CINNAMON
¼ tsp ground CLOVE
½ tsp CARDAMOM
1½ tsp MANGO POWDER
2 tsp CORIANDER
½ tsp CORN STARCH
SALT to taste
CILANTRO (chopped)
serve w/ RICE

shrimp curry recipe
Creamy Shrimp Curry Recipe

In a small bowl, combine Greek yogurt with cinnamon, clove, cardamom, mango powder, coriander, and corn starch. Mix ingredients well until the yogurt is smooth. Heat olive oil in a skillet and add mustard seeds and finely chopped peppers. Use as much or little pepper as you like–if you’ve got fresh peppers that’s great, but red pepper flakes make a decent substitute. After 1 minute, add yogurt sauce to the skillet. Stir well and bring to a light bubble and let simmer 2 minutes. Adjust stovetop temperature as needed. Add shrimp, already peeled and deveined. Mix with sauce and return skillet to a simmer. Let cook 4-5 minutes, stirring as needed, until shrimp are pink and done–try not to overcook your shrimp ’cause that’s sad.
Salt dish as desired and remove from heat. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and serve with rice. It’s best to cook your rice ahead of time, since this creamy shrimp curry takes very little time to prepare. Give it a try and let me know what you think, and bon appetit!

For another tasty shrimp dish, give SPICY FRIED SHRIMP a try.

Artichoke Heart Recipe: Quick Artichoke-Caper Pasta

canned artichoke hearts

This canned artichoke heart recipe is quick and tasty and easily prepared. And if you use quick-cook Chinese flat noodles, from start to finish–including prep time–this dish only takes about 10 minutes to make.

Artichoke Heart Recipe
ingredients:
14 oz can quartered ARTICHOKE HEARTS
¼ cup BUTTER
¼ cup OLIVE OIL
1 lg ONION (chopped)
5 cloves GARLIC (finely chopped)
2-3 Tbsp CAPERS
8 oz PASTA
2-3 Tbsp LEMON JUICE (optional)
SALT and PEPPER to taste

In a large skillet on medium-high heat, add olive oil and most of the butter. When oil is hot, add onion and garlic and saute until onions begin to soften (for a spicier dish, add a minced chili pepper in with the onion). Add artichoke hearts, capers and salt to taste and continue sauteing for 2-3 minutes. Occasionally I’ll add the juice and zest of ½ a lemon, which is a pretty tasty option, so definitely give it a try sometime. Add any remaining butter to the skillet. I know, it seems like a lot of butter and oil, but that’s one of the reasons it’s so damn good–and it’s an Italian-style dish, so go figure. Add cooked pasta to the skillet. I like to use quick-cook chinese flat noodles since it’s easy to time with the cooking of the sauce, but use any kind of pasta you like, just allow enough time for cooking. And for a wetter sauce, add a little bit of the pasta water to the skillet. Mix pasta and sauce in skillet and then serve immediately. Garnish with fresh chopped parsely or thyme–or just add a few more capers. Serve with parmesan cheese if desired. It’s a quick, easy artichoke heart recipe and a great use of canned artichoke hearts.
Give the recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appetit!

artichoke hearts
canned artichoke hearts

It’s not really pasta, but give this Spaghetti Squash Recipe a try.
mediterrean spaghetti squash

Spicy Crispy Chickpea Recipe -great salad topping!

Here’s a quick, spicy chickpea recipe that makes a great salad topping and a so-so snack; it’s a lot easier on your teeth than baked chickpea snacks, which I find to be almost inedible (they tend to turn into tiny rocks).

ingredients:
15 oz can CHICKPEAS
2-3 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
½ tsp CURRY POWDER
½ tsp CUMIN
½ tsp PAPRIKA
dash CAYENNE PEPPER
SALT to taste

chickpea recipe

Rinse and drain a 15oz can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans). In a skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat. When the oil is hot, add chickpeas–be sure that they are drained well, since water and hot oil definitely do not mix. Saute chickpeas for 10-15 minutes; obviously, the longer they’re in the skillet, the crispier they will get, but it’ll take about 15 minutes to get them “crispy”. Once the chickpeas get near the doneness you desire, add salt, pepper, and spices. The spice combo in the recipe works well, but experiment with whatever spices you have–and don’t be shy with the spices–spice really makes this recipe work, and a good deal of the spice you use will remain in the skillet when you remove the chickpeas. Saute chickpeas and spices another 2-3 minutes and then remove from the heat.
Use them as a salad topping instead of croutons for a healthy crunch, or a just tasty snack, something to nibble on besides potato chips.
Enjoy!

Ever try Chickpea Curry(chana masala)? It’s a terrific Indian chickpea dish.

Tilapia Recipe –Easy Baked Panko-Crusted Fish

This easy, baked tilapia recipe will make even those big boring bags of tilapia fillets taste great –or any other less than stellar fillet of fish. Tilapia is not an exciting fish, but it’s often a pretty good buy relative to everything else in the seafood department. This recipe will turn tilapia–or any bargain fillet–into a super tasty, super moist side of aquatic splendor (too much?). Breading and frying always helps tilapia, but breading and baking will do the same, and it’s a lot less messy and a lot more moist–and healthier, too.

Tilapia Recipe Ingredients:
2 FISH FILLETS (about 8oz each)
½ ONION (sliced or chopped)
½ cup PANKO BREADCRUMBS
½ tsp GARLIC POWDER
SALT and PEPPER to taste
2 Tbsp fresh DILL (or 2 tsp dried dill)
¼ cup MAYONNAISE
1 tsp DIJON MUSTARD
1 clove GARLIC (minced)
1 Tbsp fresh LEMON JUICE (add zest for extra lemony-ness)

tilapia fish

directions:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
In a small cup, combine panko crumbs (or any breadcrumbs–panko just happens to be best, I think) with garlic powder, salt, pepper and 1/2 of the dill and mix.
In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dill, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard (not yellow mustard!) and lemon juice and stir until smooth.
Rinse and pat the fish fillets dry with paper towels. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray. Lay onion slices in pan and place fillets over
onions. Evenly brush the tops and sides of the fish with the mayonnaise mixture. Sprinkle and press the crumbs into the mayonnaise.
Place pan in oven and bake about 15 minutes until the crumb topping has turned a nice, golden brown. Serve with rice and veggies.
Give this tilapia recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appetit!

Frozen tilapia fillets are often a great bargain.
Frozen tilapia fillets are often a great bargain.
This baked tilapia goes great with rice and sauteed veggies.
This baked tilapia goes great with rice and sauteed veggies.

For another tasty dish, Try this Blackened Fish Recipe.
blackened fish mahi mahi

Edamame Recipe –Roasted Snack and Salad Topping

Try this roasted edamame recipe for a quick semi-healthy snack. The toasted Parmesan cheese will almost make you forget that you’re eating soybeans.

Roasted Edamame Recipe Ingredients:
10 oz frozen shelled EDAMAME (green soybeans)
1 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
1 tsp GARLIC POWDER (also add or substitute onion powder, chili powder)
SALT and PEPPER to taste
¼ cup shredded PARMESAN CHEESE

directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Mix frozen edamame beans (no need to thaw), olive oil, fresh-cracked black pepper, salt, garlic powder, and Parmesan cheese together in a large bowl. Try experimenting with different seasonings; substitute onion powder or chili powder for the garlic–or add them all–this is an easy snack food to change up for a little variety.
Spread mixture onto an ungreased baking sheet.
Place in oven and bake for 8-10 minutes and then remove from oven and stir. Spread edamame out again and cook another 8-10 minutes, until the cheese is toasted crispy and golden.
Add additional salt or garlic powder if desired.

Roasted edamame makes a great salad topping.
Roasted edamame makes a great salad topping.

Eat as a quick snack–it is delicious hot out of the oven–or use as a topping for salads and whatnot.

Tastes great hot out of the oven--perfect for snacking.  Try it as a movie treat instead of popcorn.
Tastes great hot out of the oven–perfect for snacking. Try it as a movie treat instead of popcorn.

Give this roasted edamame recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appetit!

And for another quick and healthy salad topper, try this Spicy Chickpea Recipe.

chickpea snack recipe
chickpea snack recipe

Roasted edamame or chickpeas are both great components in a salad. A super-flavorful and healthy salad ingredient is kale. It’s extremely versatile and can be eaten raw or cooked. Click on the video link below to discover some simple tips on using raw kale in your next salad.

avocado kale w/ chickpeas
raw avocado kale salad

Asparagus Recipe — Tangy Lemon Ginger Asparagus

Asparagus is one of those veggies you cook when you’re trying to impress–and this asparagus recipe will do the job. The lemon adds a nice zing while the whole fennel/mustard seeds add flavor and texture without overpowering the great taste of asparagus.

Asparagus Recipe Ingredients:
1½ lb. ASPARAGUS
1 small LEMON (zest and juice)
2 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
½ tsp FENNEL SEEDS
½ tsp MUSTARD SEEDS
3-4 cloves GARLIC (or more…go for it, dude)
1 inch GINGER (which should end up being between 1-2 Tbsp thinly sliced)
SALT and PEPPER to taste

When buying asparagus, thin is better than thick. Choose firm spears. Avoid asparagus that have a wrinkled skin, or tips that are wet and greasy looking. Rinse and drain the asparagus spears, then chop into 1 inch pieces. When slicing, leave the tops of the spears intact so they don’t fall apart while cooking. Heat olive oil on medium heat in a skillet. When oil is hot, add mustard and fennel seeds and stir for 20-30 seconds–not long at all. Add garlic and ginger–a lot of ginger; I use about 1 inch, thinly sliced–about the size of a fish scale. Stir skillet 1 minute, lower heat if necessary.
Stir in asparagus. Add salt and pepper to taste. I like my asparagus to retain a bit of crunch–who likes mushy asparagus?–so this dish doesn’t take long to cook. Saute for about 4 minutes and the dish will be done. From the time you add the seeds to completion, the cooking time will only be about 5 minutes–of course you can extend the cooking time if YOU DO like softer asparagus (crazy!)–but everybody likes what they like, so namaste, man. About a minute before the dish is done, add the lemon zest. When the asparagus is crunchy or soft the way you like it, and you’re ready to get it off the heat, add the lemon juice, stir, and serve.
It’s a tasty asparagus dish and a perfect side for a nice steak (or whatever).
Give this asparagus recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

If you enjoy asparagus, you likely love this Brussels Sprouts Recipe.
brussels sprouts

Quinoa Curry Recipe — Thai Curry + Quinoa = Winner

quinoa thai curry

A quinoa curry recipe with a Thai influence. This is a handy (and yummy) quinoa curry recipe to make when you’re ready to clean all of the vegetable odds and ends from out of the fridge.

Quinoa Curry Recipe Ingredients:
1/2 cup QUINOA
1 15 oz can COCONUT MILK
1 lg ONION (chopped)
1 inch GINGER (thinly sliced)
2 cloves GARLIC (finely chopped)
1 Hot Pepper (chopped, as desired)
1 RED BELL PEPPER (sliced)
1/4 cup fresh BASIL (or CILANTRO) (chopped)
2 CARROTS (sliced)
1/2 small CAULIFLOWER (florets)
1 cup CABBAGE (chopped)
2 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
1 tsp CORIANDER POWDER
1/2 tsp CUMIN
1/2 tsp CHILI POWDER
1/2 tsp TURMERIC
SALT and PEPPER, to taste
garnish with
finely chopped PEANUTS

In a small pot, bring 1/2 cup quinoa and 1 cup water to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer 13-15 minutes until water is absorbed.
Remove from heat, fluff with fork, and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil on med high heat. Add onion, garlic, and hot pepper and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add Spices and mix well–and if you are a slave to the spice–don’t be afraid to add a little more. Add can of coconut and stir thoroughly, mixing completely with the spices and onion. Let coconut milk heat, and then add ginger, carrot, cauliflower, and bell peppers. Continue stirring, adding salt and pepper to taste. Bring ingredients to a bubble, then reduce heat, cover, and allow skillet to simmer for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, uncover and add cabbage.
Add quinoa.
Stir and allow another minute or two until veggies are cooked to your liking. Add fresh basil or cilantro and remove from heat.
Garnish with ground peanuts and serve immediately.
…and that’s a quinoa curry recipe with a little taste of Thai thrown in for good measure. Give the recipe a go and let me know what you think, and bon appetit!

Try a Spanish-style Quinoa Recipe.
spanish quinoa

Chocolate Chip Cookies — quick and easy recipe

chocolate chip cookies

This quick chocolate chip cookies recipe makes a perfect weekend treat–it’s a super quick and tasty recipe that I have never mucked up–which is saying something.

Chocolate Chip Cookies Ingredients:
½ cup SUGAR
¼ cup BROWN SUGAR
½ cup BUTTER (soften)
2 tsp VANILLA EXTRACT
1 EGG
1½ cup ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
½ tsp BAKING SODA
¼ tsp SALT
1 cup CHOCOLATE CHIPS
(or ½ cup chocolate chips and ½ cup chopped nuts)

Set out butter to soften and egg to come to room temperature.
Combine sugars, butter, vanilla extract, and egg in a bowl and mix well; you can use a mixer if you like, but I never have–just stir with a spoon to a smooth-ish consistency, do it as well as you can and that will likely be good enough (most things in life are like that, I find).
In another bowl, add flour, salt and baking soda (just ½ tsp BAKING SODA, if you add too much the cookies will be bitter, dude). Add chocolate chips and nuts–or if you don’t want nuts, just add chips–but that would be nuts. Mix ingredients well.
Add the sugar/butter combo to the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. The dough should stick together when pressed.
Arrange spoonfuls of dough on an ungreased cookie sheet–about two inches apart. The recipe makes about 18-22 cookies, I usually get 17 or 18 cookies, cause I like mine kinda big.
Slide cookie sheet into an oven heated at 350 degrees F and let bake 10-12 minutes. When cookies are brown around the edges and lightly golden on top, they’re finito. Cool on cooling rack or eat them hot out of the oven with a glass of milk or a White Russian, depending on how your day is going.
Give this easy chocolate chip cookies recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appetit!

And for another sweet tooth fix, try these heavenly Caramel Oatmeal Squares.
caramel oatmeal squares

Interesting Hot Dog Recipe along the Appalachian Trail

hot dog TN

We encountered an interesting hot dog recipe at lunch in Erwin, TN at one of our stops along the Appalachian Trail.

Occasionally, the Dari Ace diner serves up an extreme (and very tasty) hot dog special. The “Russell Tussell” was named after a fella who came in requesting a hot dog on a bun with ketchup, mustard, onions, slaw, chopped tomato, cheese, sliced bacon, and topped with a fried chicken tender. We encountered this hot dog backpacking through Erwin, TN on one of our off-trail stops along the Appalachian Trail.

Parmesan Pesto Bread Recipe :how to bake bread w/ Mama Redbuck

parmesan pesto bread

Mama Redbuck bakes up a delicious Parmesan Pesto Bread Recipe.

Thanks for watching!

Ingredients:
5 ½ cups unbleached BREAD FLOUR
2 cups WARM WATER (approx. 130 degrees F)
2-4Tbsp OLIVE OIL
2 Tbsp SUGAR
½ cup SKIM MILK POWDER
1 Tbsp KOSHER SALT
1 Tbsp INSTANT YEAST
PESTO (approx. 1 cup divided between loaves)
1 cup PARMESAN CHEESE (shredded and divided)
a sprinkle of CORN MEAL

(recipe makes 2 loaves)

Sift 5 ½ cups of unbleached bread flour. Bread flour has a higher gluten count than all-purpose flour; gluten holds in the gases released by the yeast, enabling the bread to rise.
In a bowl, add 2 cups of warm water (approx 130 degrees F). Add 2 Tbsp olive oil, sugar, milk powder, salt, and yeast. Mix well.
1 cup at a time, add the sifted flour into the bowl until the dough thickens. Do not add all of the dough into the bowl. As soon as the dough in the bowl reaches a density forming a sticky ball, remove dough from the bowl and place onto a surface coated with flour. Continue adding the sifted flour to the ball, turning and folding the flour into the dough ball. Continue this kneading process for 8-10 minutes, adding dough as needed (the entire 5 ½ cups may not be needed). Kneading transforms the dough into a more elastic consistency, enabling the gluten in the dough to better trap the gases from the yeast.
After kneading, place the dough into a bowl coated with 1 Tbsp of olive oil. The bowl should be at least twice the size of the dough ball. Cover bowl and set aside for 45-60 minutes to allow the dough to rise. The dough will expand to approx. double in size.
When dough has risen, push a floured fist into the top of the dough—this will release the gas. Remove dough from bowl and divide into equal halves (equal halves will cook equally in the oven).
With a rolling pin, spread one of the dough halves into a square approx. 9 X 14 inches. Spread ½ cup of prepared pesto evenly over the flattened dough. Sprinkle top with ½ cup shredded, parmesan cheese. Roll up the dough and toppings into a 14 inch “burrito” shape, folding and pinching the ends shut. With a sharp knife, cut lengthwise down the center of the rolled bread, creating halves. Cut gingerly, being mindful not crush the layers of dough, and leave one of the very ends attached so as to not separate the halves completely. Fold the bread halves into a braid. Keep the cut sides of dough facing upward.
Coat a loaf pan with olive oil and sprinkle the bottom of the pan with a light dusting of corn meal; this will help keep the bread from sticking to the bottom of the pan as it bakes. Transfer braided bread “face-up” into pan and cover.
Repeat this processes with the other dough half and then set the 2 loaf pans aside for 1 hour to allow them to continue to rise.
After the loaves have risen, place them in an oven pre-heated to 375 degrees F and bake approx. 35-40 minutes.
Remove bread from oven. Parmesan cheese and pesto may be melted to the inside of the pan and you may need to cut around the edges of the pan with a knife. Remove loaves and place on a cooling rack, but don’t let the bread cool for too long before cutting off a slice—it’s delicious warm.
Give this Parmesan Pesto Bread Recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit.

Watch Mama Redbuck cook up a beautiful Focaccia Bread Recipe

focaccia bread

Spudnuts — We Try Potato Doughnuts at Spudnuts!

spudnuts

The definitive origin of the doughnut is unclear, but in Charlottesville, Va, they’ve been cooking up delicious donuts at Spudnuts since the late 1960’s.

At one time, Spudnuts was the largest doughnut chain in the United States, now only a few independently operated shops remain. We enjoyed the food and friendly folks at Spudnuts in Charlottesville.

Doughnut Fun Facts:
–At one time, Spudnuts was the largest donut chain in the United States
–Since 1982, the first Friday of June is National Doughnut Day
–The largest doughnut on record weighed 1.7 tons and was 16 feet in diameter (and it was a jelly donut, too)
–According to Merriam-Webster, “doughnut” and “donut” are both acceptable spellings for doughnuts (or donuts)
–Americans eat more than 10 billion doughnuts every year
–The 1st automated donut-making machine was invented in 1920 in New York City (it was featured at the 1934 World’s Fair in Chicago)
–During World War I, female Salvation Army workers handed out donuts to soldiers and became known as “Doughnut Girls”
–generally speaking, donuts have fewer calories than bagels or croissants

Bánh Mì –what is in a Bánh mì Sandwich?

bahn mi

What is in a Banh Mi? Lets take one apart and see what we got.

Best Banh Mi, so far–thanks to eastsidegirl1977 for the great Seattle recommendation. I’ve been eating a lot of these sandwiches crammed with spicy, fresh ingredients–maybe too many sandwiches–but it’s too great a taste and value to pass up.

Bánh mì are a fusion of French and Vietnamese culture. Spicy peppers and daikon mix with cooling carrot and cucumber to create a a real treat for your tongue, and a little BBQ pork added makes it irresistible; wrap it up in a crunchy French baguette and it’s heaven.

Basic Banh Mi Ingredients:
Baguette
Sliced Pork
Pickled Daikon
Pickled Carrots
Cucumber
Cilantro
Hot Pepper
Mayonnaise
Black Pepper
Salt (if desired)

What is Bánh tét?

banh tet

Chinese Eggplant Recipe – healthy, low-fat dish

chinese eggplant

This Chinese eggplant recipe is awesome because it’s purple–not purple like a black eye–but purple like Barney the Dinosaur, which is nice.

Choose eggplants that are firm and have a glossy skin. The skin is thin and tasty, and Chinese eggplants have smaller seeds than the black, bowling ball eggplant you might be used to preparing. They’re a great ingredient for a stir-fry and can stand in for meat without being as awful as tofu. So give ’em a try.

Ingredients:
3 small CHINESE EGGPLANTS
3-4 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
5 cloves GARLIC (finely chopped)
1 inch GINGER (thinly sliced)
2 tsp MUSTARD SEEDS
1 Tbsp ground CORIANDER
1 bunch GREEN ONIONS (chopped)
1 JALEPENO or other hot pepper (sliced)
SALT to taste
— optional garnishes —
SOY SAUCE or CHILI GARLIC SAUCE

Heat olive oil on medium high heat. When oil is hot, add garlic and ginger. Add mustard seeds and coriander powder and sauté 2 minutes. Add chopped green onion bottoms and reserve the chopped green onion tops for later. Add hot pepper and continue sautéing for a couple minutes. Add sliced eggplant (with skin). Choose eggplants that are firm, glossy skinned, and heavy for their size. Slice into rounds no more than 1/4 inch thick. Add salt and stir eggplant. Stir for a few minutes. Add water as needed, but not too much, the eggplant will release water as it cooks. Reduce heat, cover and cook 10-12 minutes, stiring as needed. The eggplant will be ready when it is soft, but not falling apart. Mix in green onion tops and remove from heat. Add soy sauce or chili garlic sauce if desired. Serve as a main dish over pasta or rice (or on it’s own as a side dish).
Give this Chinese eggplant recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

Want to try a decadent version of Chinese Eggplant?
Try Chinese Eggplant w/ General Tso’s Sauce.

Chinese Eggplant Recipe with Sweet Sauce
Chinese Eggplant Recipe with Sweet Sauce

Sushi Conveyor Belt –never leave your seat for fresh fish.

fast food sushi

Are conveyor belts better than waiters? We check out the sushi conveyor belt at Genki Sushi where sushi favorites glide right past the table; it’s a fun way to eat–and pretty affordable, too.

Kaiten-zushi is a sushi restaurant where plates move along a conveyor belt, winding through the restaurant and moving past every table and counter seat. Customers simply pick their selections from a steady stream of fresh sushi moving along the conveyor belt. The bill is based on the number and type of plates of the consumed sushi–often the plates are color coordinated by price. Some restaurants use creative conveyor belts that resemble “sushi boats” traveling small canals or miniature locomotive cars.

It’s a great place to eat on a budget because you can sample a variety of dishes without spending a lot of money–this is especially true if you’re eating out with friends. There is generally a wide price range based on the color of the plates, so choosing the right colors can get you filled up for the right price. The dishes circulating on the conveyor belt are both hot and cold, and not always sushi–some desserts and specialty drinks are thrown into the mix, too. Often the restaurant will offer the option to place special orders, but with such a varied choice of dishes winding it’s way right past your seat, it will be impossible to not grab something off of the sushi conveyor belt–which is the whole point, I guess.

Click the pic below to check out our trip to Spudnuts, Home of the Potato Donut.

spudnuts

Daikon Salad Recipe (mild, white radish)

daikon salad

This daikon salad recipe is crisp with loads natural flavors. Daikon radish has a mild flavor and adds great texture and crunch to a salad.

Daikon Salad Recipe Ingredients:
1 DAIKON RADISH (matchstick cuts, about 2 cups)
1 large CARROT (shredded)
3 salad CUCUMBERS (sliced)
1/2 SMALL CABBAGE (chopped)
1/2 cup rice wine VINEGAR
1/2 cup WATER
2-3 Tbsp SUGAR
3 GREEN ONIONS (chopped)
1 inch GINGER (finely chopped)
1/4 cup CILANTRO (chopped)
1 hot PEPPER (jalapeno, diced)
1/2 cup SLICED ALMONDS (toasted)
1 package RAMEN NOODLES (toasted)
SALT and PEPPER, to taste

Chop vegetables and place in 1 gallon size ziplock (except cilantro). Mix water, vinegar, sugar, and salt and pour over chopped veggies in ziplock. Seal and shake and then place in fridge, occasionally turning. On a baking sheet, spread out almond slices and broken ramen. Bake at 350 degrees F until toasted–watch carefully to avoid burning. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Remove ziplock from fridge and place vegetables in bowl. Toss with toasted nuts, ramen, and cilantro.

For another awesome Asian-inspired salad, try this Thai Beef Salad Recipe.

thai beef salad
thai beef salad recipe

Best Stuffed Squash Recipe –looks fancy, tastes great!

squash recipe

This stuffed squash recipe is easy to cook, yummy as hell, and looks pretty fancy-pants when you stuff it full of delectable goodies.

Try out the recipe below and let me know what you think. Hope you like it!

Stuffed Squash Recipe Ingredients:

2 ACORN SQUASH (halved, seeds removed)
2 tsp OLIVE OIL
3 cloves GARLIC (minced)
1/2 inch fresh GINGER (minced)
1 CARROT (peeled and chopped)
1 cup GARBANZO BEANS (drained)
1/3 cup RAISINS (or dried currants)
1 tsp ground CUMIN
1/2 tsp ground CINNAMON
[1/4 tsp ground GINGER, if didn’t use fresh]
SALT and freshly GROUND PEPPER, to taste
1 cup BROTH
3/4 cup instant COUSCOUS
1/2 cup SLIVERED ALMONDS (toasted)
2-3 GREEN ONIONS (white and green parts, chopped)
1/2 golden delicious APPLE (cored and chopped)

squash recipe
A squash recipe to impress!.

How to Make Stuffed Squash:

Preheat the oven to 400.
Toast the almonds.
Place the squash halves, cut side down, on a shallow pan with ¼ inch of water. Roast until the squash is easily pierced with a fork, about 30 – 40 minutes.
In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and carrots, and cook 5 minutes. Mix in the garbanzo beans and raisins. Season with cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper, and continue stirring for another minute.
Add broth, simmer 5 minutes.
Stir in couscous, cover pot, and turn off heat. Allow couscous to absorb liquid for 5 minutes.
Stir in the almonds, green onions, and apple. Spoon the filling into the roasted squash, mounding generously and serve.
You can freeze leftovers (or make extras). Freeze by mashing the squash on the bottom of the container then adding the couscous mixture on top.
And that’s that.
Give this stuffed squash recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

Also, try this TERRIFIC SPAGHETTI SQUASH RECIPE!
stuffed squash recipe

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Cha Lua — Let’s Try Vietnamese Ham

cha lua vietnamese ham

Cha Lua, or Vietnamese ham, is a staple of the Vietnamese diet and often found on the table during Tét–the celebration of the New Year.

During a recent trip down to Little Saigon (on a bánh mi run), we randomly picked up a cha lua and brought it home to give it a try. It was pretty bland right out of the banana leaves, with a rubbery consistency–but these characteristics make it a pretty versatile ingredient in many dishes–much the same as tofu, but a meat version. I ended up slicing and marinating the ham in chili and soy sauce with curry and garlic powder and frying up the slices to make an awesome bánh mi burger–which was delicious; I will definitely be making again in the near future.

Take a look at the exceptionally delicious Bánh Mì Hamburger made with cha lua.

Take a look at a traditional Bánh Mì Sandwich.
bahn mi

Bánh Mì Hamburger – Best Burger in the World?

burger banh mi

What makes a bánh mì taste like a bánh mì? The toppings! This bánh mì hamburger is a fusion of Thai and American styles to create a truly awesome burger experience–one of the best hamburgers I’ve ever eaten!

I whipped up a couple versions of this delicious French/Vietnamese sandwich using ground beef and cha lua (Vietnamese ham). It was fantastic–this combo of ingredients is soooo addictive. Use fresh toppings, and don’t be shy about piling them on. Give it a go and let me know what you think.

Bahn Mi Hamburger Ingredients:
1 lb. ground BEEF
hamburger BUNS
DAIKON (shredded)
CARROTS (shredded)
salad CUCUMBER (sliced)
fresh CILANTRO
1/4 cup ONION (minced)
JALAPENO (sliced)
1 cup VINEGAR
1/2 cup WATER
1/3 cup SUGAR
2 Tbsp SOY SAUCE
MAYONNAISE
SALT and PEPPER to taste

banh mi hamburger
Best Burger Bánh Mì

First things first, throw together a daikon/carrot pickle. This is a great combo that you can use on all kinds of sandwiches and salads. Heat a small sauce pan on low heat and add vinegar, water, and sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves, then set aside to chill in the fridge. Cut or shred equal parts carrot and daikon into strings. Place veggies in container and cover with chilled pickling solution. The longer the daikon and carrot pickle, the more flavorful it will be. This pickle will last for a couple of weeks in the fridge.
Cut any variety of salad cucumber into thin, sandwich slices. A salad cucumber has a thin skin that is quite edible with little to no seeds. Thinly slice a jalapeno–or thickly slice–if that’s your thing…be sure to add a few pepper seeds for heat, the cool of the cucumber will balance it out. Wash a bunch af fresh cilantro–a fistful on each burger is a good idea.
Mix 1 lb. of ground beef with minced onion, garlic powder and salt and pepper (to taste), and 2-3 Tbsp of soy sauce. Shape into patties and cook in a skillet on med-high heat. I like to use a fatty grind of beef–not too fatty, but not too lean–right in the middle. A juicy burger is best–expensive, lean ground beef will cook up too dry, so don’t be afraid of the “cheap meat”–it’s your hamburger’s friend. Cook burgers to doneness desired–try turning them one time only–and don’t punish the patties with the spatula, squeezing away all the juicy goodness into the pan!
Pile everything on a burger bun with creamy mayonnaise and enjoy the bánh mì goodness :^)
I made bánh mì burgers using ground beef and also thick cuts of cha lua, or vietnamese ham–both were awesome. I love salmon patties and often eat them on a bun–next time I think I’ll try a bánh mì variation of a salmon patty burger. Try making your favorite sandwich using traditional bánh mì fixings and see how you like it, I bet you’ll be happy.
Bon appétit!

And take a look at a traditional Bánh Mì Sandwich.
bahn mi

And also take a look at my first experience with Cha Lua, Vietnamese ham.
cha lua vietnamese ham

Pork Loin Chop Recipe Perfect Every Time

pork loin chop

Cook a delicious, juicy pork loin chop recipe perfect every time.

Use a lot of onion and garlic!–especially garlic (those two ingredients are actually good for you, so why not use a lot?). Also, this dish will go well with whatever beer is on sale.

Pork Loin Chop Recipe Ingredients:
PORK LOIN CHOP
2 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
1 lg ONION (sliced)
6-8 cloves GARLIC (rough chopped)
fresh ROSEMARY
SALT and PEPPER, to taste

Season both sides of chop before cooking–and don’t be timid with the seasoning–it’ll make all the difference! I often use just salt and pepper (black pepper AND cayenne), but experiment with your favorite seasonings, too–every now and then I’ll season up chops with ground ginger and saute them with onion and sliced, fresh ginger–it’s pretty damn good.
Heat olive oil in a skillet (skillet should be suitable for stovetop and oven)–not smoking hot, but pretty damn hot–we want to sear the pork and seal in the flavor.
Place chops in the skillet; they should sizzle when they hit the pan. Add fresh rosemary sprigs. Cook chops 3-4 minutes on one side and then turn. This is for chops approx. 1″ thick–adjust cooking times according to the size of the chop you use. Move chops in pan to mix with oil and rosemary. Add sliced onion and garlic. Cook chop 3-4 minutes on second side, then remove skillet from stovetop and slide skillet into oven preheated to 350 degrees F. Cook another 4-5 minutes and return to stovetop. Remove chops from skillet and set aside to rest.
Continue cooking onion and garlic with rosemary on medium/low heat to desired doneness.
Top chops with onion and garlic and serve.
That’s it…super easy and super flavorful–it’s a great way to cook up a juicy chop without drying it out, so give this recipe a go and let me know what you think, and bob appetit!

And if you’re still in a carnivorous mood, give this Crispy, Baked Chicken Recipe a try.
baked curry chicken

Brussels Sprouts Recipe That Everyone Will Like

brussels sprouts

This is my absolute favorite Brussels Sprouts recipe. it’s super tasty, simple to make, and a healthy choice, too, so definitely give it a try.

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think.

Brussels Sprouts Recipe Ingredients:

1½ lbs BRUSSELS SPROUTS
3-4 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
½ ONION (chopped)
4-5 cloves GARLIC (finely chopped)
1 LEMON zest and juice
½ cup WATER
SALT and PEPPER, to taste

brussels sprouts recipe
Sear Brussels sprouts in a hot skillet for exceptional taste!

How to Cook Brussels Sprouts

Wash 1½ lbs sprouts. Cut off the ends and discard outer leaves. Slice sprouts into halves, or larger sprouts into 3rds.
Heat 3-4 Tbsp oil in a skillet on high heat–you want the skillet to be hot to sear the sprouts–and don’t be shy with the olive oil.
Add Brussels sprouts.
They should start to sizzle and pop right away. Let set before stirring to get a seared edge. Turn sprouts and continue to sear.
After 4-5 minutes, stir in onion and garlic and continue to cook on high to med. high heat, searing and turning another 3-4 minutes.
Then reduce heat to medium and add water. Add seasoning.
Stir, cover, and let cook 4-5 minutes.
Then turn off heat, stir in lemon zest and lemon juice, and serve.
Give this Brussels Sprouts Recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon Appetit!

And if you’re still in the mood for foods that start with “B”, try this Beet Recipe.
brussel sprouts recipe

Brussels Sprouts Fun Facts:
-89% of all children despise Brussels Sprouts.
-3/4 of all convicted felons do not eat Brussels sprouts.
-Albert Einstein considered the Brussels Sprout to be the most compact cabbage, relatively speaking.
-Even children who dislike the taste of Brussels sprouts appreciate the vegetable for it’s “slingshotability”
-Every U.S. president has loved Brussels sprouts and eaten them routinely.

Thanks for checking out the recipe. If you liked it, press a button or two below and share it with your friends.
I appreciate it!
–Chef Buck

Tofu Lasagna Recipe — Gluten Free Edition

gluten free tofu lasagna

The only thing that sounds worse than a tofu lasagna recipe is a gluten-free tofu lasagna recipe; but it’s actually pretty tasty, and still gluten-free.

Camera Girl whipped up this dish and it was damned tasty. I’m not ready to start driving the tofu train, but I am enjoying the ride.

Tofu lasagna Recipe Ingredients:
SAUCE:
1 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
1/2 tsp RED PEPPER FLAKES (crushed)
1/2 large ONION (chopped)
3 cloves GARLIC (chopped)
15 oz can DICED TOMATOES
8 oz can TOMATO SAUCE
1 CARROT (chopped well)
1 stalk CELERY (chopped well)
2 tsp OREGANO
1/2 tsp BASIL
1 BAY LEAF
SALT & PEPPER, to taste
….or substitute 25 oz jar store-bought marinara sauce, but don’t do that :^(

LASAGNA FILLING:
1 pkg gluten-free, rice LASAGNA NOODLES (you do not cook them prior to baking)
2 Tbsp extra-virgin OLIVE OIL
1/2 large ONION (chopped)
6 cloves GARLIC (minced)
16 ounce package EXTRA-FIRM, WATER-PACKED TOFU (not silken tofu)
3 cups fresh SPINACH (chopped)
1/2 cup PARMESAN CHEESE (shredded)
1/2 cup part-skim MOZZARELLA CHEESE (shredded)
2 Tbsp Kalamata OLIVES (finely chopped)
2 tsp dried OREGANO
1/2 tsp dried THYME
SALT & PEPPER, to taste

First thing, start making the sauce (don’t buy pre-made sauce!–or do…maybe you’re busy, I don’t know).
Heat olive oil and red pepper in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute 2 to 4 minutes. Add Carrot and celery and continue sauteing.
Mix in the remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes or longer, until flavors are blended, stirring routinely.

While sauce is simmering, heat oil in a large skillet and saute garlic and onion for lasagna filling. Add tofu and spinach to skillet and stir until spinach wilts and the mixture is heated through (2 to 3 minutes). Transfer skillet contents to a bowl and stir in parmesan, olives, seasonings, and 2/3 of the marinara sauce.
Spread half of the remaining sauce on bottom of 9 x 13 baking pan. Place a layer of lasagna noodles over sauce–if using the gluten-free rice lasagna, the noodles will not have to be cooked before using. Spread half of the tofu mixture over noodles. Repeat layers of noodle and tofu mixture. Top with remaining marinara sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese.
Cover dish and bake in a 350 degree F oven for about an hour.
Remove from oven and allow to rest 10 minutes.
Then eat, man.
Give this tofu lasagna recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appetit!

Want another great gluten-free recipe? Try a Tangy BBQ Beans Recipe for ultimate bean pleasure.
bbq beans

Baked Falafel Recipe – healthy and delicious

baked falafel

This baked falafel recipe is a tasty and nutritious way to enjoy chickpeas (garbanzo beans).

Falafel is traditionally fried, but a baked falafel can make a a tasty, healthy, and easy alternative to the tried and true oil-splatter-fest.

Baked Falafel Recipe Ingredients:
1 15oz can CHICKPEAS
1/4 cup CILANTRO
1/4 cup PARSLEY
1/4 cup ONION
2-3 cloves GARLIC
2 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
CAYENNE PEPPER, to taste
1 tsp CORIANDER
1 tsp CUMIN
1/4 tsp BAKING POWDER
1 Tbsp BREAD CRUMBS (or flour)
1 Tbsp LEMON JUICE
SALT, to taste
— Optional garnishes —
HUMMUS, YOGURT, VEGGIES, PITA SLICES

Drain and rinse 15oz can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans). Combine in a food processor with all ingredients (except 1 Tbsp olive oil and bread crumbs). Mix roughly–pulse–DO NOT puree into a smooth consistency. Place mixture into a bowl and combine with dried bread crumbs (or substitute flour). Form into discs–I like to get 10 out of this recipe because they cook up well and fit nicely into a pita pocket–but make them as big as you like, and adjust the cooking time accordingly.
(Refrigerate 1-2 hours before cooking if you have the time–they’ll bake better, maybe, but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t. I actually prefer putting them in the fridge for a bit, but sometimes I don’t, and the difference is negligible.)
Place on a flat baking sheet and lightly drizzle or brush with olive oil.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes, then turn falafel and bake for 10 more minutes to brown each side (a total cooking time of 30 minutes).
Serve with hummus, yogurt, veggies, and pita slices–or stuff inside a pita to make a delicious falafel sandwich.
And that’s it, man. Give this baked falafel recipe a try and let me know what you think and bon appetit!

And if you wanna make your own hummus try this Easy Hummus Recipe.
hummus

Cheese Biscuits with Bacon and Jalapeno

cheese biscuits

This Cheese Biscuits recipe makes four good-size biscuits, which is plenty for two folks for breakfast (maybe even 4 people, if one of them isn’t me).

The recipe doubles quite easily if you want to make a bigger batch.

Ingredients for Cheese Biscuits:
1 cup ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
2 tsp BAKING POWDER
1/4 tsp SALT
1/2 cup MILK
1 JALAPENO pepper (chopped)
4 slices BACON (cooked crispy, crumbled)
1/2 cup CHEDDAR CHEESE (shredded)

First thing, fry up your bacon and set aside to cool–you’ll want it crisp enough to crumble. Slice your jalapeno (seeds and all) and saute for a minute or two in the bacon grease–this’ll flavor it up, start to cook it up, and knock off a little of the heat. Set pepper aside on a paper towel to drain.
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well and then cut in the shortening. Add shredded cheese, sauted pepper, and crumbled bacon and mix. Slowly add milk, turning the mixture, getting the loose flour to come together into clumps.
Then, on a floured surface, turn the clumped dough out of the bowl and knead gently approx. a dozen times.
Form into biscuits–I just make a big pie shape and cut it into four pieces cause I’m lazy (or brilliant).
Brush biscuit tops with melted butter, if desired. I can take of leave this move–the biscuits will have plenty of color from the bacon, cheese, and jalapenos.
Place biscuits on an ungreased sheet and bake at 425 degrees F for 13-15 minutes.
And there you have it. Give this Cheese Biscuits recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appetit!

And if you need more bread in your life, let Mama Redbuck show you how to bake up a great Focaccia Recipe.
focaccia bread

Biscotti Recipe – Big Almond Biscotti

biscotti

Wanna make some big biscotti? This twice-baked biscuit is an awesome accompaniment to your favorite hot beverage.

Biscotti is a twice-baked sweet biscuit that goes great with a hot cup of coffee or tea–it’s an easy way to start the day feeling like a real fancy-pants dude or dudette, especially if you’re drinking your hot beverage out of a tiny cup with a tiny spoon to stir in your milk and a cloth napkin to wipe your very satisfied mouth. And there is zero butter or oil in this recipe, just a little rummy goodness.

Biscotti Recipe Ingredients


1 cup ALMOND SLICES
2 cups all-purpose FLOUR
3/4 cup SUGAR
1 teaspoon BAKING POWDER
1/8 teaspoon SALT
3 large EGGS
2 tsp VANILLA EXTRACT
1 tsp ALMOND EXTRACT
2 Tbsp RUM

How to Mkae Almond Biscotti Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Toast almond slices–watch them, it only takes about 2 minutes to toast, just want a few to begin turning.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt then mix and set aside.
Whisk the eggs, rum and extracts until blended well.
Add the dry ingredients, including nuts, and mix until combined.

Dough will be sticky at this point.
Scrape the dough out onto a parchment lined sheet pan.
Quickly shape with wooden spoon into a long flat loaf.

Bake about 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Remove from the oven and cool 10-15 minutes.
Lower oven heat to 300 degrees F.

Slice loaf into 1/2″ to 1″ wide slices.
Lay the slices cut side down on the baking sheet and bake another 15-20 minutes.
Turn the slices over and bake 15 minutes more, or until the cookies are a light golden brown.
Cool the biscotti on a rack.
Cool completely before storing.
And that’s it, man. Serve them up with some coffee or hot tea and you’ll feel
like a real fancy-pants Italian lawyer.
Give this big biscotti recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appetit!

And for another tasty breakfast treat, try this Deadly Scone Recipe.
maple pecan scones

Beef Stew Recipe for Rib-Sticking Deliciousness

beef stew

This beef stew recipe is a classic meat and potato dish, a stick to your ribs dish that hits the spot on a cool day (or almost any day). Check out the recipe video and let Chef Buck show you how easy it is to make this hearty dish.

This will make you feel like a manly man if you’re a man, and if you’re a woman, you’ll likely take ownership of your own feelings and not need a bowl of food to direct your inner emotional understanding.

Beef Stew Recipe Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs STEW BEEF
1/4 cup ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
1 GREEN BELL PEPPER (chopped)
1 15oz can DICED TOMATOES
2 lg CARROTS (chopped)
2 POTATOES (chopped)
1 lg ONION (sliced)
3-4 cloves GARLIC (sliced)
1 14oz can BROTH (chicken or beef)
CELERY? whatever
3 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
1 Tbsp CORIANDER
1 tsp CUMIN
1 BAY LEAF
(0ptional) 1 tsp CHILI POWDER
1 Tbsp BUTTER
SALT and PEPPER, to taste

Chop up your veggies, dude.
In a bowl, season your stew beef with salt and pepper. Add 1/4 cup flour and toss the meat until coated.
In a large pot, heat oil on medium high heat and add beef. Sear beef and turn to cook each side. Remove beef from pot and add onions and butter. Melt butter and then add garlic and bell pepper. Saute onions, garlic, and pepper 8-10 minutes. Add cumin and coriander (add chili powder if desired, or mustard powder, cayene pepper, etc.–I tend to go light on the seasonings for a simple flavor). Return meat to the pot and add 1 can of diced tomatoes. Simmer for 5 minutes and then add 1 can of broth (chicken or beef or veg–whatever’s handy and floats your boat). Add carrots, celery, and a bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, add potatoes. Your potatoes should be cut into big, ping-pong-ball sizes so they don’t cook down to nothing. Add water as needed, just enough to cover your ingredients in the pot–don’t add too much water–we want a nice, thick stew when we’re done.
Cover, and continue to simmer for another 45-50 minutes.
Give it a taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Serve it with a thick slice of buttered bread and enjoy being the King or Queen of the castle.
And that’s it, man. Give this hearty beef stew recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appetit!

And for another hearty stew, try this Spanish classic: Spicy Chorizo Sausage Stew

Sausage and Potato Stew
Spicey Chorizo Sausage and Potato Stew

BBQ Beans Recipe – Tangy and Tasty Barbecue Flavor

bbq beans

A BBQ Bean Recipe with a spicy kick. This recipe is tangy and delicious and using a variety of beans gives this dish the illusion of grandeur, but it’s just beans, yummy tasty beans.

BBQ Beans Recipe Ingredients:
4 15oz cans BEANS
1 large ONION (coarsely chopped)
1 GREEN PEPPER (coarsely chopped)
4 cloves of GARLIC (chopped)
1/3 cup light BROWN SUGAR
28oz can CRUSHED TOMATOES
14oz can BROTH
1/3 cup APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
1 Tbsp fresh ROSEMARY (minced)
1 tsp WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE
1/2 tsp RED PEPPER FLAKES
1 1/2 tsp dried THYME
1/4 cup stone ground MUSTARD
1 Tbsp SOY SAUCE
1 BAY LEAF
3 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
SALT & PEPPER, to taste

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion, green pepper and sauté about 2 minutes. Add garlic and continue sautéing on med heat until begins to brown (3-5 more minutes).
Add rosemary, thyme and red pepper flakes and stir 1 minute.
Add tomatoes, prepared mustard, brown sugar, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, stock, vinegar. Mix well. Bring to a bubble.
Stir in beans, bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer on low for 60 minutes, stirring as needed.
Serve as a side–or a main dish–if you want your main dish to be beans.
And that’s it. Give this BBQ Beans recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appetit!

Wanna try another bean recipe? This Vegetarian Chili recipe is awesome!
vegetarian chili

Bean Fun Facts:
-6 to 11 percent of a cooked bean’s weight is protein.
-Beans are one of the best things to eat for improving the stability of blood sugar levels in diabetics.
-Beans are low fat, contain no cholesterol or saturated fat, and are an excellent source of fiber, protein, calcium, iron,
folic acid and potassium.
-North Dakota produces more beans than any other state in the USA.

Spicy Spanish Spaghetti Squash Recipe w/ Sausage

spaghetti squash spanish

Spaghetti squash tastes great with a little Spanish chorizo thrown into the mix.

When buying, choose a firm spaghetti squash that seems heavy for its size. Avoid squash with overly glossy or with greenish rinds–this may indicate the squash is not quite ripe enough. The stem of a spaghetti squash should be dry. Moisture around the stem may mean the squash is not fresh.

Ingredients:
1 SPAGHETTI SQUASH
4-5oz Spanish style CHORIZO (diced)
1 lg ONION (chopped)
4-5 cloves GARLIC (finely chopped)
1/2 cup PARMESAN or ASIAGO CHEESE (shredded)
1/2 cup CILANTRO (chopped)
2 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
SALT and PEPPER, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Slice 1 spaghetti squash lengthwise into halves. Remove seeds and place cut side down in a baking pan. Pour a small amout of water in the pan to keep the squash from sticking. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. The squash is ready when a fork will slide easily into the flesh.
In a skillet, heat oil on medium high heat. Add onions and saute a few minutes (add red pepper flakes for heat, if desired). Add garlic and chorizo and continue sauteing. Add salt and pepper to taste. You don’t need a lot of seasoning for this dish–the chorizo will add plenty of flavor. Take a fork and scrape the squash away fromm its skin and into the skillet; the squash will separate easily in spaghetti-like strands…which is why it’s called what it’s called. The squash is already cooked, so this is more about mixing the ingredients than cooking them. Add cilantro and cheese, mix well, and remove the skillet from the heat. It’s a delicious dish, and hearty enough to make a terric main course. Serve with a salad and bread and you’ll have a more than enough.
Enjoy!

And try this delicious vegetarian Mediterranean-Style Spaghetti Squash Recipe

mediterrean spaghetti squash